The UK Government has published its annual AI Action Plan with an overview of how the UK National AI Strategy is performing.  It's not straightforward to join-up the outcome in the Action Plan with the actions identified in the Strategy. However, it's clear that for governing AI effectively:

  • in the past year: a lot has happened since the Strategy was published in September 2021.  Much of it has lead to tangible results (even if in pilot form) and actions have taken place across a range of government and public bodies.
  • in the next year: the focus is on publishing a White Paper setting out regulation of AI in the UK; develop AI standards for use in the UK; continue to promote the UK's work internationally.

What's happened with AI governance?

The Action Plan identifies the following of note:

  • The Cabinet Office’s Central Digital and Data Office published one of the world’s first national algorithmic transparency standards to strengthen the UK’s position as a world leader in AI governance, with the first pilots now complete.
  • The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation published the AI Assurance Roadmap to provide meaningful information about AI systems to users and regulators, helping to unlock the economic and social benefits of AI systems (see our article here).
  • DCMS and the Office for AI announced the pilot of an AI Standards Hub, led by The Alan Turing Institute and supported by the British Standards Institution and the National Physical Laboratory, to coordinate UK engagement in AI standardisation globally (see our article here).
  • The UK Government has continued to actively engage in multilateral forums addressing AI issues, such as the OECD, Council of Europe, UNESCO, the Future Tech Forum and the Global Partnership on AI.
  • Government bodies - including DHSC, Ministry of Defence, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) - have published reports and developed internal policies for AI governance and impact assessments. 

By way of reminder, the UK's National AI Strategy has three pillars:

  1. Investing in the long term needs of the AI ecosystem
  2. Ensuring AI benefits all sectors and regions
  3. Governing AI effectively

If you would like to discuss the potential impact of AI legislation and policy (or legislation and policy which affects AI), please contact Tom Whittaker or Martin Cook.