UK government urged to enhance transparency in using AI

The UK government has committed to be more open about its use of AI.

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has called on the British government to be more transparent about using AI. Privacy activists are concerned that the government’s use of AI might lead to prejudice because the government is not doing enough to monitor the dangers that arise from its expanding use of AI. The government has stated that it plans to put rigorous protections in place for AI.

A document sent to MPs from the cross-party group on AI and data analysis calls for more information on how such systems are used. Civil liberties organisations, migrant rights groups and digital rights advocates signed it. Shameem Ahmad, executive director of the Public Law Project (PLP), highlighted the risks of using AI, such as ChatGPT, and said public authorities had used AI-based technology for years, sometimes in mysterious ways.

The UK government has not imposed any new legal restrictions on the use of AI in the corporate or public sector, while the European Union is preparing to ban government agencies from using AI to categorise the behaviour of individuals and to place strict limits on AI-based facial recognition for law enforcement in public settings. Mariano di Santi, legal and policy officer at the Open Rights Group, expressed concern about the potential loss of current protections due to the new AI rule. Recognising the rapid growth of AI capabilities, the UK is taking an adaptive approach to developing new guidelines.