House of Lords says UK can be ethical AI leader

The UK can ‘lead the way’ on ethical AI, according to a House of Lords select committee report on artificial intelligence.

The report concluded that the UK’s wider adoption of AI coupled with the development facilities in the country will enable the UK to become a world leader in the emerging technology.

The Chairman of the Committee, Lord Clement-Jones, said that the UK can ‘shape AI positively for the public’s benefit’ in the coming years. “The UK has a unique opportunity to shape AI positively for the public’s benefit and to lead the international community in AI’s ethical development, rather than passively accept its consequences,” he said. “The UK contains leading AI companies, a dynamic academic research culture, and a vigorous start-up ecosystem as well as a host of legal, ethical, financial and linguistic strengths. We should make the most of this environment, but it is essential that ethics take centre stage in AI’s development and use.

“AI is not without its risks and the adoption of the principles proposed by the Committee will help to mitigate these. An ethical approach ensures the public trusts this technology and sees the benefits of using it. It will also prepare them to challenge its misuse. We want to make sure that this country remains a cutting-edge place to research and develop this exciting technology. However, start-ups can struggle to scale up on their own. Our recommendations for a growth fund for SMEs and changes to the immigration system will help to do this. We’ve asked whether the UK is ready willing and able to take advantage of AI. With our recommendations, it will be.”

The Committee’s five principles for the development of AI are:

1) Artificial intelligence should be developed for the common good and benefit of humanity.

2) Artificial intelligence should operate on principles of intelligibility and fairness.

3 )Artificial intelligence should not be used to diminish the data rights or privacy of individuals, families or communities.

4) All citizens should have the right to be educated to enable them to flourish mentally, emotionally and economically alongside artificial intelligence.

5) The autonomous power to hurt, destroy or deceive human beings should never be vested in artificial intelligence.

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