Ethics & Governance are key in an AI-Enabled World – UK can Take the Lead

Ahead of the Prime Minister's speech in Davos, techUK Deputy CEO Antony Walker discusses the importance of a comprehensive strategy to put the UK firmly at the forefront of responsible AI innovation

"The UK has an opportunity to be a global leader not just in the development of AI but also ethics and governance of its use. The new Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, has an important role to play. It will help us to build the world leading capability and capacity to ensure that AI is developed and used in a thoughtful way. We want to optimise the huge potential benefits. But we also recognise the need to prevent misuse and unintended harms. This is new body, which techUK has called for, is going to be crucial for building and protecting public trust and confidence in a fast moving technology with profound implications for all of our lives.

In its first year the new interim body needs to engage widely with experts from the field to scope out the issues set a course for collective action. This is an issue that matters for everyone who works in the development and implementation of AI. It is essential that that ethical concerns and questions are understood and addressed. The Centre can play a vital role bringing together the UK’s growing AI community and building consensus about the right way forward.

Today’s announcement is another piece of the jigsaw in a comprehensive strategy to put the UK firmly at the forefront of responsible AI innovation. Taken together the AI Sector Deal and the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, represent a clear direction of travel from Government which we strongly welcome. These practical steps will help UK businesses to unlock economic and social potential whilst also addressing real ethical and governance questions. All of which is vital if we are to ensure public trust and confidence in AI-enabled innovation.”

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