The UK’s AI framework: Lighttouch or the right touch?

Edward Machin of Ropes & Gray considers what the government’s ‘pro-innovation’ framework – and the ICO’s updated AI guidance – mean in practice for organisations both in the UK and in the European Economic Area.

As the artificial intelligence (AI) arms race increasingly gathers speed, there has become – if not a race, then certainly an increase in urgency – among national governments and their enforcement bodies over who will regulate AI, and how. In April 2021, the European Commission proposed the Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act) – the first comprehensive legal framework on AI globally and still the standard against which (rightly or wrongly) many of the laws that have followed are being judged. China, the United States and Canada are taking their own steps to regulate AI, which left many of us waiting for the United Kingdom to show its hand.

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