House of Lords calls for UK to lead the way on ethical AI

House of Lords calls for UK to lead the way on ethical AI

As the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in a host of industries, not least the financial services sector, gains traction, the House of Lords has called for the UK to lead the way in the ethical development and deployment of the technology.

Banks are increasingly turning to AI and data analytics in the hope of radically improving customer service, efficiency, risk management and regulatory compliance.

But the technology raises a host of ethical considerations; earlier this month Singapore brought together industry players to work on guidelines for its "responsible and ethical" use in the financial services sector.

In a new report, the House of Lords Select Committee on AI concludes that the UK is in a strong position to become a world leader in the area, providing a major boost to the economy. The report outlines five key principles that should form the basis of a cross-sector code, which can be adopted nationally and internationally:

  1. AI should be developed for the common good and benefit of humanity.
  2. AI should operate on principles of intelligibility and fairness.
  3. AI should not be used to diminish the data rights or privacy of individuals, families or communities.
  4. All citizens should have the right to be educated to enable them to flourish mentally, emotionally and economically alongside AI.
  5. The autonomous power to hurt, destroy or deceive human beings should never be vested in AI.

The report also says that government should make significant investments in skills and training to mitigate the effect of AI on job losses as well as give people greater control over their data and prevent big tech firms monopolising data.

Committee chairman Lord Clement-Jones, says: "AI is not without its risks and the adoption of the principles proposed by the Committee will help to mitigate these. 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."

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