Commenting on the Prime Minister’s speech in Davos, Julian David, techUK’s CEO said:
“We welcome the scale of ambition in the Prime Minister’s Davos speech. The next generation of digital technologies including Artificial Intelligence present huge opportunities for jobs and investment in the UK and will make a real positive difference to people’s lives. The UK is already a global leader in AI and the Government’s clear backing for the sector through its industrial strategy will help to consolidate that leadership. However, the rapid development of powerful new technologies also raises new ethical questions. We are therefore pleased that the Government is pushing forward on our recommendation to set up a Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation. This will help to develop a new framework to guide ethical innovation and good governance which are crucial for building public trust. The UK has an opportunity to be a world leader not just on technology development and but also ethics and governance.
“Clearly not all the consequences of technological innovation are positive. Issues such as extremist content and child online safety are of real concern to the sector and companies are far from complacent about the work that needs to be done. Tech firms may not always agree with Government on the means but there is no disagreement on the objective to make online platforms hostile environments for illegal and inappropriate content. Much has already been achieved by working in partnership with Government and tech firms are committed to working to ensure the safety and security of their users.
“On the issue of whether intermediary liability status of online services should be reviewed techUK would urge caution. Intermediary liability has been a founding principle of regulation that has underpinned the development of ecommerce and services that consumers depend upon every day. If additional market interventions are required they should be implemented with precision rather than through significant changes that could have broad and unforeseen consequences for the whole online ecosystem.”