Update on AI regulation in the UK – Regulator’s strategic approach to AI governance required

In March 2023, the UK Government published a white paper on “AI regulation: a pro-innovation approach” (AI White Paper), which set out its proposals for implementing a proportionate, future-proof and pro-innovation framework for regulating AI. The white paper built on the National AI Strategy and the Science and Technology Framework, which outlines the government’s vision to make the UK a science and technology superpower by 2030 and a global leader in AI. The AI White Paper was accompanied by a consultation (which closed on 21 June 2023) that sought views from the public and interested parties on the proposed approach to AI regulation. Following the consultation process, on 6 February 2024, the UK Government published the consultation outcome “A pro-innovation approach to AI Regulation: government response” (Response). In its Response, the UK Government confirmed they are committed to the five principles based on the OECD guidelines, namely:

  • The safety, security and robustness of AI;
  • The appropriate transparency and explainability of AI;
  • The fairness of AI;
  • The accountability and governance surrounding AI; and
  • The contestability and redress in relation to AI.

These principles will remain at the core of the work the UK Government undertakes with the assistance from regulators such as the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, the Competition Markets Authority, the Financial Conduct Authority and similar regulators. To this end, the UK Government has written to several regulators impacted by AI to ask them to publish their strategic approach to AI governance by 30 April 2024. As part of this request, regulators are being asked to issue:

  • An outline of the steps they are taking in line with the expectations set out in the white paper.
  • Analysis of AI-related risks in the sectors and activities they regulate and the actions they are taking to address these.
  • An explanation of their current capability to address AI as compared with their assessment of requirements, and the actions they are taking to ensure they have the right structures and skills in place.
  • A forward look of plans and activities over the coming 12 months.

We will be publishing a fuller update and overview of the Response and what this means for your organisation in the coming weeks.


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