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How the government could increase the potential of AI

A new House of Lords report revealed that the UK could become a leader in developing AI. It has called on the government to support businesses in the field.
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Capitalising on the “transformative potential of AI requires active engagement,” the House of Lords explained. “The government especially has an opportunity to shape AI to the benefit of everyone.” In order to do that, however, there were a few things that needed to be addressed. 

It was suggested that a common framework for the ethical development and deployment of AI be created. This could, in time, become the basis for statutory regulation. But were policy to be introduced, the House of Lords advised making its progress available for public scrutiny.

“And while we welcome the government’s intentions to upgrade the nation’s digital infrastructure, it needs to consider further public investment to ensure everywhere in the UK is included within the rollout of 5G and ultrafast broadband, as this should be seen as a necessity,” The House of Lords added in the report.

Likewise, more clarity around legal liability is required. The Law Commission needs to consider the adequacy of existing legislation to address AI issues and, where appropriate, recommend remedies to ensure the law is clear in this area.”

It also suggested people be educated to work alongside AI in the jobs of the future. As was suggested by Jan Mueller, global vice president of marquee accounts at Korn Ferry, business models, industries and working practices are undoubtedly set to transform.

“Given the speed at which researchers advance AI technology, many studies, as well as prominent figures in the industry – think Elon Musk – predict AI will overtake human jobs,” Mueller said.

“But, as this report shows, many jobs will, in fact, be enhanced by AI. Although some roles will disappear, a whole new wave will be created. In the end, we will see increasing demands for new skill sets in virtually every job and profession.

“So to stay ahead of competition, businesses will face the challenge of ensuring employees not only have the right skills but are also agile. While hiring and retaining workers who can adapt to the fast pace of change can be tough for business leaders, implementing AI solutions can be a game changer.”

Of course, before such training can be implemented, there needs to be a better understanding of, and increased trust in, AI. That includes highlighting areas in which such technologies could be misused. University testing, the House of Lords claimed, could be a good way to set out boundaries.

“Further research should be conducted into methods for protecting public and private datasets against any attempts at data sabotage, and the results of this research should be turned into relevant guidance,” the report concluded.

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Shané Schutte

Shané Schutte is a senior reporter at Real Business, with a particular specialism in employment and business law, human resources, information technology and sales/marketing.

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