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UK launches AI Standards Hub

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United Kingdom

Back in September 2021, I wrote a piece for ComputerWeekly about the launch of the UK's National AI Strategy, a ten-year plan to encourage growth in artificial intelligence and consolidate the UK's position as a science and AI superpower. (Read more.) One of the key strands to that strategy is to govern AI effectively by adequate rules that encourage innovation and investment, and protect the public and the country’s fundamental values.

Four months on, the UK is now piloting an AI Standards Hub to ensure AI governance strikes the right balance between innovation and investment while ensuring the public, and societal fundamentals, are protected. This follows closely on from the announcement in December from the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation of a roadmap for building a world-leading AI assurance ecosystem in the UK.

The Hub's goals will include:

  • encouraging engagement in standard setting and development by making initiatives accessible and user-friendly and creating guidance to educate and train organisations;
  • encouraging coordination in the AI community in developing standards; and
  • collaborating with similar initiatives internationally to include a wide range of expertise in developing technical standards.

Getting input from UK stakeholders and influencing the development of global standards through international collaboration is going to be fundamental to securing interoperability with key markets. For the UK, which is likely to generate a significant revenue stream from exporting AI in coming years, this is a critical strategic objective from the perspective of international trade and future economic growth.

The Alan Turing Institute is leading the initiative, supported by the British Standards Institute and the National Physical Laboratory, and backed by DCMS and the Office for AI. Prior to launching, the Alan Turing Institute plans to hold a series of round-table discussions to gain perspectives on the scope of the Hub's activities. I understand that further information on how to get involved with the initiative will be announced soon.

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Related Work Areas

Artificial Intelligence