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UK: Government publishes National AI Strategy

The UK Government ('the Government') announced, on 22 September 2021, that the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport ('DCMS') presented to Parliament, the 'National AI Strategy'; a 10-year plan to make Britain a global artificial intelligence ('AI') super power. In particular, the strategy aims to invest and plan for the long-term needs of the AI ecosystem, support the transition to an AI-enabled economy, and ensure the UK governs AI effectively. To achieve the latter, the strategy outlines key actions to be taken in the next three, six, and 12 months, including publishing the AI assurance roadmap by the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation ('CDEI'), determining the role of data protection in wider AI governance following the 'Data: A new direction consultation' ('the Consultation'), publishing a White Paper on a pro-innovation national position on governing and regulating AI, and completing an in-depth analysis on algorithmic transparency, with a view to develop a cross-government standard.

In addition, the strategy provides that the Government is considering how to improve data foundations in the private and third sectors, which are crucial to the effective use of AI, noting that, subject to the outcome of the Consultation, it will more explicitly permit the collection and processing of sensitive and protected characteristics data to monitor and mitigate bias in AI systems. Furthermore, the strategy notes that, with regards to trade which can support the UK's objectives to sustain the mature, competitive, and innovative AI developer base, the UK needs to access customers around the world, the Government will include provisions on future trade deals secured on emerging digital technologies, including AI, and champion international data flows, preventing unjustified barriers to data crossing borders, while maintaining the UK's high standards for personal data protection.

You can read the press release here and the strategy here.