British lawmakers are urging the UK government to expedite the development of a comprehensive artificial intelligence (AI) policy, citing concerns related to bias and existential risks posed by AI. Members of the Science, Innovation, and Technology Committee of the UK Parliament have expressed that the rapid growth of AI surpasses the government’s current efforts to ensure public interests guide its development.
While the government’s existing AI strategy, published in March, emphasizes principles like safety, transparency, fairness, accountability, and competition, the parliamentary committee argues that new legislation is required to keep pace with international AI standards set by entities such as the European Union and the United States.
The European Union is on the verge of finalizing AI regulations designed to mitigate risks and prohibit certain AI applications. In contrast, the United States, though unlikely to pass legislation similar to the EU’s AI Act soon, has initiated preliminary steps toward AI system regulation. The delay in the UK government’s actions could potentially jeopardize the country’s status as a leading AI research hub.
To uphold its ambitions and global influence in AI, the committee urges the government to promptly enact legislative measures and consider 12 critical areas of risk, including privacy concerns, access to computing power, and liability issues linked to third-party use of AI models.
The lawmakers have called for action before the 2024 UK general election to avoid being constrained by global AI governance standards established by the EU, akin to the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation.