Lawmakers want UK to set example on transparency in AI decision making

A UK parliamentary report calls for lawmakers to study how to regulate AI activities

British lawmakers want more transparency and less bias in decision-making -- not their own, of course, but in decisions made by AI systems.

As more and more software systems and connected devices employ artificial intelligence technologies to make decisions for their owners, the lawmakers want to know what's behind their thinking. 

The U.K. Parliament's Science and Technology Committee has been studying the need for more regulation in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence.

Recent advances in AI technology raise a host of social, ethical and legal questions, the committee's members said in a report published Wednesday.

We need, they said, to think about whether transparency in decisions made by AI systems is important; whether it's possible to minimise bias being accidentally built into them; and how we might verify that such technology is operating as intended and will not lead to unwanted or unpredictable behaviors.

This being the Science and Technology Committee, one of the conclusions is that more research is needed and that Parliament should create a standing Commission on Artificial Intelligence to figure out how to regulate it. Lawyers, social scientists, natural scientists, and philosophers should all be represented on the commission, in addition to computer scientists, mathematicians, and engineers, the committee recommended in its report.

"While it is too soon to set down sector-wide regulations for this nascent field, it is vital that careful scrutiny of the ethical, legal and societal dimensions of artificially intelligent systems begins now," the report said.

With AI likely to disrupt the employment market, taking over many jobs that only humans can do today, the committee wants the government to make the education system more flexible -- and able to train people throughout their lives, not just during their school years.

This will be a huge undertaking, in the U.K. at least. The committee notes the country is already suffering a digital skills crisis, and the government has still not published its strategy for helping workers cope with the existing array of digital technologies.

The U.K. government identified robotics and autonomous systems as long ago as 2013 as being one of eight great technology areas in which the country could become a global leader. Despite that, there is no government strategy for developing skills and investment to create future growth in robotics and AI, the committee found. And with Brexit, the U.K.'s departure from the European Union, looming, it may become harder for the country to recruit those skills from abroad.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?