British Academy & Office for AI Roundtable: AI Governance and Regulation – Summary

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The British Academy has had a long-standing interest in the challenges and opportunities posed by AI technologies, most recently explored in our collaborative project with UCL Public Policy on Artificial intelligence (AI) and the future of work. AI brings opportunities and uncertainties for UK society, including those related to the future of work, wellbeing, productivity, and social inequality, and across a broad range of sectors. Changes due to AI will sit alongside changes related to climate change, as well as the immediate impacts of COVID-19 and the UK exiting the EU. The role of AI should also be considered in this wider context of overlapping, interdependent factors to ensure an equitable transformation. Government has an important role to play in cultivating a national environment that shapes AI for the benefit of all. Effective governance and regulation of AI in the coming decade will be a vital component of this role. In the near term, the UK Office for AI is currently developing the UK’s national position on governing and regulating AI, with a White Paper planned for 2022. This roundtable summary highlights insights that are both relevant to the White Paper and of wider interest for the AI policy and governance landscape in the coming decade.

On Wednesday 23 February 2022, the British Academy hosted a virtual roundtable on AI governance and regulation, convening policymakers from the Office for AI with expertise from SHAPE disciplines (Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts for People and the Economy) that exists in the British Academy’s Fellowship and wider networks, as well as expertise on AI in the other National Academies and relevant professional bodies. This note is a summary of the main discussion points and key insights that emerged from the roundtable discussion.

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