The UK government has recently announced an investment of, than £100 million to strengthen the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) and encourage innovation in the field.
This announcement was made alongside the governments response to a consultation on AI regulation, which started March with a white paper suggesting that existing laws and context specific guidance should form the basis of approaches.
The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) sees this plan as an opportunity to solidify the UKs position as a leader in AI. The initiative includes over £100 million allocated towards supporting both AI regulation and innovation.
Of this amount £10 million will be dedicated to empowering regulators with enhanced capabilities to oversee advancements in AI and enforce existing laws. This funding aims to equip regulators with research resources and practical tools that will effectively monitor and manage risks and opportunities across sectors such as telecoms, healthcare, finance and education.
Additionally the government intends to invest £90 million in establishing nine research hubs throughout the country. These hubs will focus on promoting AI innovation in fields like healthcare, mathematics and chemistry. The allocation of funds emphasizes the governments commitment not, to nurturing AI development but also ensuring targeted enforcement measures are implemented to address safety risks associated with AI technologies.
Despite making investments, in AI regulation and innovation the UK government has currently decided against introducing legislation dedicated solely to AI. Instead the DSIT (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) is focusing on a context based approach that empowers existing regulators to address AI risks without changes in the law.
This decision aligns with the governments strategy of maintaining flexibility and promoting AI development within the UK while also taking into account the European Unions progress in establishing a comprehensive framework for regulating AI.
To further demonstrate their commitment to both AI innovation and regulation the government has allocated funding. This includes £2 million from the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for research projects aimed at defining AI across sectors and £19 million towards initiatives focused on developing trustworthy solutions in AI and machine learning.
As the UK navigates through the complexities of regulating and fostering innovation in AI its approach aims to strike a balance between embracing advancements and ensuring responsible oversight. By doing it positions itself as a leader in both promoting safety in AI as well as advancing its development, on an international scale.