21 Sep 2023
by Sarwar Khan

AI Regulation: A Framework for Responsible Artificial Intelligence 

Guest blog from Sarwar Khan, Director of Government Affairs, UK & Ireland at Salesforce, Inc. Part of techUK's #SuperchargeUKTech Week 2023.

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Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionise our world, but it also comes with risks that we must carefully consider, ranging from accuracy and bias to privacy and security concerns. That’s why it is essential to develop ethical AI frameworks that mitigate these risks. We must be careful as we move forward, aware of the potential risks and implications, and making trust our top priority. 

However, we cannot expect all companies to voluntarily follow ethical guidelines when it comes to AI. That’s why it is essential to implement a tailored, risk-based AI regulatory framework that is specific to the context and use of AI, fosters innovation, and protects individual rights and freedoms. 

Salesforce is a long-standing member of techUK and is proud to be working together on the development of UK tech policy. We commend techUK's call for AI regulation that is risk-based, proportionate, flexible, and global. It is the best way to ensure that AI is used for good and that its benefits are shared by all. 

AI regulation must be nuanced, not a one-size-fits-all approach. 

A one-size-fits-all approach to AI regulation could unintentionally stifle innovation, impede healthy competition, and slow down the adoption of technology that benefits consumers and businesses around the world. This is why it is essential for all stakeholders in the AI value chain, from enterprise applications to foundational models, to have a seat at the table with policymakers. While many policies focus on consumer concerns, which often trigger initial policy discussions, AI regulation requires more nuance. 

To ensure that AI is used responsibly, regulations should be tailored to the specific context, control, and uses of the technology. This means that regulations should consider the specific risks and benefits of AI in different contexts, the level of control that developers and deployers have over AI, and the specific uses of AI. For example, developers of generative AI models should be responsible for the training and data used to create their models. Deployers of the technology should determine how it is used and establish rules governing interactions with people. By focusing on the responsibility of developers, the control of deployers, and the risks of application of AI, regulation can be more targeted, effective, and fair. 

By focusing on the accountability of developers, the control of deployers, and the risks of AI applications, regulation can be more specific, efficient, and equitable. That is why Salesforce strongly welcomes the UK government’s AI Safety Summit to bring international coordination on an issue that will have enormous impact on our economy and society. This is a watershed moment for our industry and it is imperative that AI is developed safely and responsibly.  

AI regulation should not start from scratch 

Existing laws and policies already provide some level of guidance on AI-related concerns, such as global data protection laws. Therefore, as new AI-specific regulations are developed, it is imperative to be consistent with existing rules, avoiding duplication or conflicting requirements. 

Ethical AI frameworks must uphold the fundamental human right to privacy and ensure that data within the AI ecosystem remains secure and confidential. They must also be accountable and transparent so people can understand the decision-making process behind AI-driven recommendations.  To keep pace with innovation, regulations should be globally interoperable, durable, and flexible. They should provide a framework for ethical development and deployment of AI systems without being tied to specific technologies or timeframes. 

Responsible AI development is a global shared responsibility 

The journey towards responsible and trustworthy AI requires governments, industry, academia, and civil society working together to shape AI norms that benefit humanity. 

AI, particularly generative AI, holds the promise of transforming our world in ways we could not have imagined just a few years ago. However, we must approach this transformation with caution and responsibility. A tailored approach to regulation, differentiation based on context and control, data privacy, transparency, accountability, and harmonisation with existing rules are essential components of building a trustworthy and ethical AI landscape. By working together, we can navigate this important moment to harness the full potential of AI while mitigating its risks, ensuring a brighter and more equitable future for all. 

Supercharging Innovation Week 2023

techUK members explored the emerging and transformative technologies at the heart of UK research and innovation. This week was designed to investigate how to leverage the UK's strengths and push forward the application and commercialisation of these technologies, highlighting best practice from academia, industry and Government that is enabling success. You can catch up via the link below.

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Sarwar Khan

Director of Government Affairs, UK & Ireland, Salesforce, Inc.