No AI law for now but recognition that it may be needed

The government says it will not rush to legislate on AI, or risk implementing ‘quick-fix’ rules that would soon become outdated or ineffective. However, in issuing its response to the AI Regulation White Paper consultation today, the government now recognises for the first time that future binding requirements may be needed for developers building the most advanced general-purpose AI systems.

For now, the government is asking key regulators to publish plans by 30 April on how they are responding to AI risks and opportunities. The regulators, including the ICO, are to set out AI-related risks in their areas, detail their current skillset and expertise to address them, and a plan for how they will regulate AI over the coming year. The government recognises that the ICO has already done much work in this area.

The government’s aim is to quickly adapt to emerging issues and avoid placing burdens on business which could stifle innovation. This approach to AI regulation will mean the UK can be more agile than competitor nations, the government says.

The government will also be launching a steering committee in spring to support and guide the activities of a formal regulator coordination structure within government in the spring.

Kate Jones, Chief Executive of the Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF), said:

"The DRCF member regulators are all keen to maximise the benefits of AI for individuals, society and the economy, while managing its risks effectively and proportionately."

"To that end, we are taking significant steps to implement the White Paper principles, and are collaborating closely on areas of shared interest including our forthcoming AI and Digital Hub pilot service for innovators."