New AI regulator not needed in UK, report argues

In a report on Artificial Intelligence and Public Standards, the UK Committee on Standards in Public Life notes that public sector organisations in the country are not transparent enough about their use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools. Moreover, the governance and regulatory framework for AI in the public sector has significant deficiencies and public sector guidance is not yet widely used. The report outlines several recommendations aimed to assist in the ‘development of a stronger and more coherent regulatory and governance framework for AI in the public sector’. Some of the recommendations include: the government should establish consistent ethical principles and issue easier to use guidance; public sector organisations should publish statements on how their use of AI complies with relevant laws and regulations; AI impact assessments should be mandatory in evaluating the potential effects of AI on public standards. In the committee’s view, a new AI regulator is not needed but existing regulators have to adapt to address the challenges brought by AI. The report also contains recommendations for public service providers that use AI; these recommendations are related to issues such as evaluating AI risks to public standards, tackling issues of bias and discrimination, and setting oversight mechanisms that allow for AI systems to be scrutinised.