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UK government’s House of Lords says ethics must take centre stage when developing artificial intelligence


The House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence has published a report calling for the Law Commission to establish new laws surrounding advancements in the field, with current laws deemed insufficiently able to protect AI users from systems malfunction or the potential risk of harm.

The committee – which was established in June last year to investigate the social, economic and ethical implications surrounding artificial intelligence – called for an international ’AI Code’, based on five key principles, focusing particularly on fairness and education, as well as the potential misuse of the technology.

The code is designed to provide an ethical framework for AI manufacturers and users, and establish the UK as a world leader in the industry.

“AI is not without its risks. An ethical approach ensures the public trusts this technology and sees the benefits of using it. It will also prepare them to challenge its misuse,” said committee chairman Lord Clement-Jones.

“The UK must seek to actively shape AI’s development and utilisation, or risk passively acquiescing to its many likely consequences”, stated the committee in the report.

“We propose five principles that could become the basis for a shared ethical AI framework. Such a framework provides clarity in the short term, and could underpin regulation, should it prove to be necessary.”

“Our recommendations are designed to support the government and the UK in realising the potential of AI for our society and our economy, and to protect society from potential threats and risks.”

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