Artificial Intelligence

UK to act as global leader in AI regulations amidst rising fears

1st June 2023
Kiera Sowery

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has urged the UK to become a global leader in developing international regulations and guidelines around artificial intelligence, ahead of a meeting with US President Joe Biden next week.

Following the UK’s white paper issued earlier this year which highlighted the benefits of AI, the prime minister is rapidly changing his position as he becomes wary of the dangers and threats this piece of emerging technology could potentially cause.

Sunak is set to travel to Washington DC on the 7th and 8th of June to have meetings with the US president, members of Congress and business leaders, where officials state he will discuss the issue of AI regulation and call for the UK to play a leading role in creating global guidelines.

Last week, the PM met four top technology executives from OpenAI, Google Deep Mind and Anthropic to discuss AI regulations and is taking on board warnings from global AI experts who highlight the importance of improving regulations.

Sridhar Iyengar, Managing Director for Zoho Europe, commented:“Artificial Intelligence has the potential to be an extremely useful business tool, so it is great to see the government prioritising the creation of clear guidelines. A global approach is needed from experts and leaders in government and industry to ensure safe and ethical use of AI technology for all, and especially as technology developments are so fast moving in this space.

“Public trust must be gained for AI to be embraced and education around its benefits can help. As the economy stabilizes, AI can act as a way of boosting business growth by improving efficiencies, customer service and operations with capabilities such as customer service bots/assistants, fraud detection, data analysis, forecasting and many more.”

Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister, commented: “AI clearly can bring massive benefits to the economy and society, but we need to make sure this is done in a way that is safe and secure.”

“I think the UK can play a leadership role, because ultimately, we’re only going to grapple with this problem and solve it if we work together not just with the companies, but with countries around the world.”

In response to the planned crackdown on artificial intelligence companies collecting data Denas Grybauskas, Head of Legal at Oxylabs, the premium proxy and web intelligence acquisition solution provider comments: “Generally speaking, it should not matter that the data is being scraped by AI companies, as all companies alike should conduct their scraping activities in accordance with applicable laws.

“Furthermore, the public availability of data should also not be treated like a universal remedy that would allow scraping companies to forget additional compliance that stems from the type of data that is being scraped. Public availability of data is just one of the many parts of compliance to applicable laws.

“If, as is in this case, the data in question is personal data then privacy laws have to be taken into consideration. Even if the scraped personal data was publicly available, companies should always conduct research into how their compliance to-do list looks like. In other words, personal data has additional layers of requirements, even if it is publicly available. Processing of personal data has to have clear legal grounds (consent, legitimate interest, public interest etc.) and those grounds have to be proved and evaluated before conducting any scraping operation.

 “I think the erroneous notion that public availability of data somehow cancels out personal data requirements is a major confusion in the industry. These are two separate concepts - a data point can be both public and personal at the same time.

“This is why establishing best practices and self-regulation on an industry-wide level is so important as a small misunderstanding can cause a great deal of damage for companies and individuals. These reasons, among many others, are why we’re hard with other industry leaders through our association, the Ethical Web Data Collection Initiative (EWDCI), to establish principles, best practices, and a strong knowledge base for anyone that wants to engage in scraping.”

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