Innovative approaches needed to regulate AI, says UK Tech Secretary

UK Tech Secretary Chloe Smith emphasises the need for innovative regulation of emerging technologies like AI. Smith calls for collaboration between governments and businesses to foster innovation and flexibility in regulation.

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During the Global Technology Forum, UK Tech Secretary Chloe Smith stressed the importance of adopting innovative approaches to regulate emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI). Smith acknowledged the significant opportunities that technologies such as AI, virtual reality (VR), and synthetic bioengineering offer in addressing global challenges related to food, fuel, and healthcare.

While emphasizing the need for regulation, Smith stressed that traditional governance models alone are not enough to achieve this goal. Smith advocated for collaboration between governments and businesses, emphasizing the importance of fostering innovation, creativity, and flexibility. The UK government aims to position itself as a leader in AI regulation, as evidenced by its publication of an AI regulatory white paper earlier this year.

Smith also underscored the associated risks of emerging technologies. For example, VR could expose users to hate or intolerance, and AI training data tends to be biassed toward affluent countries. Smith also expressed concerns about the potential misuse of synthetic biology to develop harmful pathogens and bioweapons.

In March, the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology published its first AI regulatory white paper.