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AI in the UK: ready, willing and able? Lords to hold inquiry follow-up sessions

Monday 12 October 2020

On Wednesday 14 October 2020 the House of Lords Liaison Committee will be holding three one-off evidence sessions to follow-up on the recommendations of the Artificial Intelligence Committee which published its report in April 2018.

This is the first time the work of a special inquiry committee such as the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Committee has been followed up in this way.

Lord Clement-Jones, who chaired the original AI Committee, as well as four other members of the Committee, will join the Liaison Committee for these evidence sessions.

These public evidence sessions will have remote participation by witnesses and Committee members. They will be streamed live on Parliament TV.

The report of the AI Committee, AI in the UK: ready, willing and able?, and the government response can be found on the former Committee’s webpage.

The first session will begin at 9.30am. Giving evidence will be:

  • Professor Dame Wendy Hall, Regius Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton
  • Professor Michael Wooldridge, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Oxford
  • Dr Daniel Susskind, Fellow in Economics at Balliol College.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • What are the biggest opportunities and risks associated with AI over the coming five years?
  • What are the greatest barriers to the ethical development, and deployment, of AI?
  • What impact will AI have on the labour market? How has it changed since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • Is the UK an attractive place to learn about AI, and to work in it?
  • How would you rate the Government’s current approach to AI in terms of promoting opportunity and mitigating risk?

The second session will begin at 10.15am. Giving evidence will be:

  • Simon McDougall, Deputy Information Commissioner at the Information Commissioner's Office
  • Carly Kind, Director at the Ada Lovelace Institute
  • Roger Taylor, Chair at the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • What is the best way to ensure the ethical development and use of AI by government, industry and academia?
  • Is the UK’s regulatory framework and extent of governance in the public and private sector fit-for-purpose for the pace of development of AI? Does it address the potential implications of its use?
  • Is the balance right in the UK for the use of data between the privacy of the individual versus the public good? Does the proposed National Data Strategy address this sufficiently?
  • Do the departments, agencies and bodies involved in the development of AI policy in the UK work together effectively?

The third session will begin at 11am. Giving evidence will be:

  • Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
  • Amanda Solloway MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • Are the Government where they want to be in terms of their AI strategy? What are its priorities for the next year, three years and five years for AI?
  • How important is the ethical development of artificial intelligence to the Government’s approach to artificial intelligence?
  • How will the Government improve the public’s understanding of AI in terms of its benefits and risks?
  • How does the Government use AI currently? Where would it like to use it? What governance framework does it have in place both for use and procurement.
  • What steps is the Government taking to make the UK a leader in AI?

The Liaison Committee will use the evidence it gathers in these evidence sessions to produce a follow-up report which will be sent to the Government and debated in the House of Lords chamber.

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