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How will AI large language models shape the future and what is the right regulatory approach?

Friday 7 July 2023

Lords Communications and Digital Committee seeks views

The House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee has today published a new Call for Evidence on AI large language models.

Large language models (LLMs) are a type of generative AI that can produce text, code and translations. There have been significant advances in the capabilities of LLMs: Open AI’s Chat GPT recently highlighted how far these models have progressed in producing content that is hard to distinguish from that produced by humans.

There is growing excitement and concern about their disruptive potential. Goldman Sachs predict that generative AI could add up to $7 trillion to the global economy over 10 years. The same report predicted 300 million existing jobs could be lost to AI, while new jobs are created.

There are growing calls for better safeguards, standards and regulatory approaches that promote innovation whilst managing risks. The UK Government published a White Paper on AI regulation in March.

The Communications and Digital Committee is inviting written evidence to inform its new inquiry. It will examine what needs to happen over the next 1–3 years to ensure the UK can respond to the risks and opportunities posed by LLMs.

The full Call for Evidence can be found online here. The deadline for submitting written evidence is 5 September.

Baroness Stowell of Beeston, Chair of the Committee, said:

“The latest large language models present enormous and unprecedented opportunities. Early indications suggest seismic and exciting changes are ahead.

“But we need to be clear-eyed about the challenges. We have to investigate the risks in detail and work out how best to address them – without stifling innovation in the process. We also need to be clear about who wields power as these models develop and become embedded in daily business and personal lives.

“This thinking needs to happen fast, given the breakneck speed of progress. We mustn’t let the most scary of predictions about the potential future power of AI distract us from understanding and tackling the most pressing concerns early on. Equally we must not jump to conclusions amid the hype.

“Our inquiry will therefore take a sober look at the evidence across the UK and around the world, and set out proposals to the Government and regulators to help ensure the UK can be a leading player in AI development and governance.”

Question the Committee are inviting evidence on include:

  • How will LLMs develop over the next three years? What are the greatest opportunities and risks?
  • How adequately does the AI White Paper (alongside other Government policy) deal with LLMs? Is a tailored regulatory approach needed?
  • Do the UK’s regulators have sufficient expertise and resources to respond to LLMs? If not, what should be done to address this?
  • How does the UK’s approach compare with that of other jurisdictions, notably the EU, US and China? Will there need to be international coordination in the regulation of AI?

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