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The UK has said it will refrain from regulating the British artificial intelligence sector, even if the EU, US and China move forward with new measures.
Britain’s first minister for AI and intellectual property, Viscount Jonathan Camrose, told a Financial Times conference on Thursday that there would be no UK legislation on AI “in the short term” because the government was concerned that heavy-handed regulation could curb the industry. Development.
The announcement comes as officials and policymakers around the world debate how to regulate the emerging technology that promises to transform many industries and has sent big tech company valuations soaring over the past year. Stimulates growth.
The European Union has led the field, with its legislation on AI regulation expected to come into force before the end of this year.
Beijing is also implementing measures to regulate the industry, while US President Joe Biden recently issued an executive order to promote “responsible innovation”.
Camrose said, “I would never criticize any other country’s actions on this.” “But there is always a risk of premature regulation.”
In rushing to impose industry controls, “you’re not really making anyone as safe as it seems,” he said. “You are stifling innovation, and innovation is a very important part of the AI equation”.
In a separate statement published on Thursday, the government confirmed that it has no intention of legislating on the domestic AI sector in the immediate future.
“As we have done before, we will develop our approach in close consultation with industry and civil society, while maintaining a pro-innovation approach,” it added.
In a white paper published in March, officials proposed dividing responsibility for AI oversight between existing bodies – including human rights, health and safety and competition – rather than setting up a separate regulator.
Critics of the government’s lax approach have questioned whether a less-regulated AI sector will deter investors who want transparency and protection.
“The UK had an ambition to become an international standard-setter in AI governance,” said Greg Clark, chair of the House of Commons science, innovation and technology select committee. “But without law [ . . . ] In giving expression to its preferred regulator-led approach, it would likely lag behind both the US and the EU.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hosted a two-day summit earlier this month, bringing together tech leaders including AI boss Elon Musk and Open AI chief executive Sam Altman to lead a global move toward greater scrutiny and security in the AI sector. Area leaders participated.
Additional reporting by Christina Criddle and Madhumita Murgia.