We recently wrote that the House of Commons' Science and Technology Select Committee have launched an inquiry into the 'Governance of artificial intelligence (AI)' and was seeking evidence. We have responded and will share further details of our response should it be published by the inquiry.
The inquiry comes at a particularly interesting time for developments in regulating AI:
- UK: the Committee will examine the UK government's White Paper expected later this year on proposals to regulate AI in the UK (we summarised the UK Policy and consultation here, and our response to that consultation here);
- EU: there are reports that the EU AI Act is to be adopted by EU ministers on 6 December 2022, whilst also proposing an AI Liability Directive and updated Product Liability Directive;
- US: there are various developments at State and Federal level, including the US Office of Science and Technology Policy's 'AI Bill of Rights'; and
- Canada: bill C27 - 'An Act to enact the Consumer Privacy Protection Act, the Personal Information and Data Protection Tribunal Act and the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act' - is on its second reading;
As to next steps, we can expect the Inquiry to:
- consider the written submissions;
- hear oral evidence; and
- produce a report on their findings.
We do not know how long the above will take. By way of a loose comparison, the Committee's inquiry into 'UK Science, Research and Technology Capability and Influence in Global Disease Outbreaks' was launched on 20 March 2020 and produced its first report on 8 January 2021. In due course, the government may then respond to the report.
By way of recap, the inquiry is considering:
- How effective is current governance of AI in the UK?
- What are the current strengths and weaknesses of current arrangements, including for research?
- What measures could make the use of AI more transparent and explainable to the public?
- How should decisions involving AI be reviewed and scrutinised in both public and private sectors?
- Are current options for challenging the use of AI adequate and, if not, how can they be improved?
- How should the use of AI be regulated, and which body or bodies should provide regulatory oversight?
- To what extent is the legal framework for the use of AI, especially in making decisions, fit for purpose?
- Is more legislation or better guidance required?
- What lessons, if any, can the UK learn from other countries on AI governance?
The Committee seeks evidence on - the current governance of AI; - whether the Government’s proposed approach is the right one; and - how their plans compare with other countries.