UK AI (Regulation) Bill scrapped for now but hopes of a resurrection with new government | Fieldfisher
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UK AI (Regulation) Bill scrapped for now but hopes of a resurrection with new government


United Kingdom

We posted back in November 2023 about the Artificial Intelligence (Regulation) Bill being introduced to the UK Parliament by Lord Holmes - New UK Artificial Intelligence (Regulation) Bill introduced as a Private Members' Bill (PMB). This bill has unfortunately now been dropped as a result of the announcement of the General Election. 

This was a short bill and its main purpose was to establish an 'AI Authority' to oversee the regulatory approach to AI in the UK. It also set out some key principles that the AI Authority must consider when regulating AI and reassuringly contained provisions relating to the protection of intellectual property in the use of AI. Lord Holmes and the bill's supporters have been very vocal about their desire to 'positively regulate AI in the UK' by legislating (as opposed to the current government's preference for a lighter touch approach), a desire only increased by the formal adoption of the EU AI Act last month (see our blog here - BREAKING NEWS! EU Artificial Intelligence Act clears the last hurdle).

Even though the success rate for PMBs to go through and become law is not very high, there was some hope that this might be different, given the ever-increasing importance of AI in our society. It did make it quite far through the parliamentary process and had successfully reached the House of Commons after its third reading in the House of Lords in May 'in good shape, with no amendments', which was a positive sign. However, any hope has been scuppered by the announcement of the General Election scheduled for 4 July 2024. As a result, the bill was dropped. However, Lord Holmes stated in an interview that he aims to bring it back to the table on 17 July at the State Opening of Parliament. Two days after the Opening, the House of Lords holds a ballot to determine the order in which the first 25 will be introduced to Parliament. So, if the bill makes it into the top 25, it will begin its legislative journey again. It is hoped that any new government will back the bill, given its importance, and luckily we will know the outcome fairly soon!

We will of course update you as and when we have any developments.

Areas of Expertise

Intellectual Property