The UK is in a strong position to be a world leader in the development of artificial intelligence (AI), according to a cross-party House of Lords report.
The Artificial Intelligence Committee found that AI could deliver a major economic boost for the UK. The report said that the UK already has a strong presence in the development field of AI, including Google DeepMind, world class research institutions and a vibrant start-up scene.
However, the report said that AI needed to be underpinned by a strong ethical framework so that the public trusts the technology and sees the benefits of using it.
One of the recommendations of the report is for a cross-sector AI Code to be established, which can be adopted nationally, and internationally. The Committee’s suggested five principles for such a code are:
- Artificial intelligence should be developed for the common good and benefit of humanity.
- Artificial intelligence should operate on principles of intelligibility and fairness.
- Artificial intelligence should not be used to diminish the data rights or privacy of individuals, families or communities.
- All citizens should have the right to be educated to enable them to flourish mentally, emotionally and economically alongside artificial intelligence.
- The autonomous power to hurt, destroy or deceive human beings should never be vested in artificial intelligence.
Other conclusions included:
- Individuals need to be able to have greater personal control over their data, and the way in which it is used. The ways in which data is gathered and accessed needs to change, so that everyone can have fair and reasonable access to data, while citizens and consumers can protect their privacy and personal agency. This means using established concepts, such as open data, ethics advisory boards and data protection legislation, and developing new frameworks and mechanisms, such as data portability and data trusts.
- Many jobs will be enhanced by AI, many will disappear and many new, as yet unknown jobs, will be created. Significant Government investment in skills and training will be necessary to mitigate the negative effects of AI. Retraining will become a lifelong necessity.
- The monopolisation of data by big technology companies must be avoided, and greater competition is required. The Government, with the Competition and Markets Authority, must review the use of data by large technology companies operating in the UK.
- The Government needs to draw up a national policy framework, in lockstep with the Industrial Strategy, to ensure the coordination and successful delivery of AI policy in the UK.