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UK: Government launches public consultation on AI white paper

The UK Government Department for Science, Innovation and Technology announced, on 29 March 2023, that it had published a white paper titled 'AI regulation: a pro-innovation approach' and is seeking feedback on the same by way of a public consultation. In particular, the Government stated that, in line with the National AI Strategy, the white paper details its proposals for implementing a proportionate, future-proof, and pro-innovation framework for regulating artificial intelligence ('AI'). Additionally, the Government highlighted that through this new approach to AI regulation, it will help the UK harness the opportunities and benefits that AI technologies present, driving growth and prosperity by boosting innovation and investment, and building public trust in AI. 

More specifically, the white paper outlines that the Government's framework is underpinned by five principles to guide and inform the responsible development and use of AI in all sectors of the economy:

  • safety, security, and robustness;
  • appropriate transparency and explainability;
  • fairness;
  • accountability and governance; and
  • contestability and redress. 

Moreover, the white paper includes the following proposals: 

  • a statutory duty requiring regulators to have due regard to the cross-sectoral principles;
  • new central functions that focus on coherence across the regulatory landscape, cross-sectoral risk, and monitoring and evaluation;
  • additional education and awareness support for consumers, businesses, and regulators;
  • the allocation of legal responsibility for AI throughout the value chain;
  • approaches to the regulation of foundation models; and
  • an AI regulatory sandbox.

In this regard, the Government noted that it is consulting on the white paper, where comments can be submitted here, and the related impact assessment, where comments can be submitted, here, until 11:45pm on 21 June 2023. 

You can read the press release here, the white paper here, and the impact assessment here