Chris has been a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on AI and on Monday (16th April) the final report and recommendations were published: “AI in the UK: ready, willing and able?” Following 9 months of expert witness evidence and extensive consideration the report’s conclusions and recommendations emphasize that the UK is in a strong position to be a world leader in AI but that putting ethics at the heart of development and use is the best way to do this. AI, handled carefully, could be a great opportunity for the economy. The report makes 74 specific recommendations but one key recommendation is for a cross-sector ethical code for AI, underpinned by 5 principles:
1. AI should be developed for the common good and benefit of humanity.
2. AI should operate on principles of intelligibility and fairness.
3. AI should not be used to diminish the data rights or privacy of individuals, families or communities.
4. All citizens have the right to be educated to enable them to flourish mentally, emotionally and economically alongside AI.
5. The autonomous power to hurt, destroy, or deceive human beings should never be vested in AI.
Today (15th November 2017) Chris asked the Government what cross-Whitehall work they are undertaking to maximize opportunities from the fourth industrial revolution; particularly in terms of digital skills, artificial intelligence, machine learning and distributed ledger technology.
The question was intentionally broad and included a range of technologies and priorities as Chris hoped to highlight that the Government must grasp the ‘everythingness’ of this new technology.
As Chris wrote in Politics Home: “the 4IR is already well underway and it will make the first industrial revolution sound a mild murmur by comparison… There is no separate world of digital. It won’t be possible to focus on, for example, health, education or defence and leave others to “do the digital”. Crucially, the 4IR is inevitable, not optional and whilst I welcome the inclusion of digital in DCMS I seek reassurance that the scale of the challenge and the necessity for a cross-governmental approach is understood and acted upon.
The technology may be complex – who really knows what goes on inside the black box at Deep Mind or appreciates the finer details of the cryptograph hash function of Bitcoin. But this is not about the tech per se it is about the potential, the solutions which can be realized and what will be required from Government, from all of us, for such realization to become reality.”