UK policymakers begin drafting AI legislation targeting most advanced AI models

The UK is starting to draft regulations governing artificial intelligence with an emphasis on the most sophisticated language models such as those that power OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

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According to sources familiar with the subject, the UK government is drafting new legislation to cover the most powerful AI models. The focus is on a principles-based approach that promotes responsible innovation, creates a context-sensitive governance regime, and ultimately strengthens the UK’s position as a global AI leader. The proposed framework aims to define AI based on a context-specific approach, stress adaptability, ensure proportionality, foster trustworthiness, and provide transparency.

Why does it matter?

The UK’s pro-innovation posture aims to provide clarity to the innovation ecosystem and enable better trust and experimentation through collaboration among government, regulators, industry, experts, and civil society. Policymakers at the UK Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology are still in the early stages of developing laws to mitigate future technological harms.

The UK government will most probably wait until France holds an AI conference later this year before launching a survey on the matter. After hosting the first AI safety summit last November and stating that nations should not ‘rush to regulate‘ AI, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak risks falling behind the European Union and the US in enforcing AI safeguards.

At the AI safety conference held in Bletchley Park, the US, China, and 26 other countries signed a declaration committing to cooperate to defend against the potential for AI to do ‘catastrophic harm.’
Since then, the EU passed the AI Act, the first comprehensive legislation to regulate the technology, and in the US, several states have enacted laws to regulate the use of AI in certain sectors. Even in China, companies now require clearance before providing generative AI services.