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House of Lords to launch its first public inquiry into AI


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The House of Lords launched the first public enquiry on artificial intelligence (AI) developments last Wednesday.

As mentioned earlier this month, the way AI has been developing in the last few years brings with it both high hopes for the future and various fears. Among them, that automation could prove damaging for some sectors of society.

In the attempt of regulating the upcoming consequences of such an exponential growth, the committee announced that the enquiry will focus on "the economic, ethical, and social implications of advances in artificial intelligence."

Submissions from all interested individuals and organisations must be received by 6th September 2017 and will have to answer the following questions: 

  • How can the data-based monopolies of some large corporations, and the 'winner-takes-all' economics associated with them, be addressed?
  • Is the current level of excitement surrounding artificial intelligence warranted?
  • What role should the government take in the development and use of artificial intelligence in the UK?
“This inquiry comes at a time when artificial intelligence is increasingly seizing the attention of industry, policymakers and the general public”, said Lord Clement-Jones, Chairman of the Committee.

“We are looking to be pragmatic in our approach, and want to make sure our recommendations to Government and others will be practical and sensible”.

The former Liberal Democrat and co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on AI called for ethics in AI work earlier this year.

At the AI Expo event in Berlin last June - and right before the General Election - he stretched the need of forming a parliamentary majority interested in “the standards, values, governance, ethics, and moral questions that surround AI, as well as the societal implications.”

The committee that called last week’s enquiry includes Labour lords Clive Hollick and Dame Joan Bakewell, and "Third Way" guru Anthony Giddens, director of the LSE, the Lord Bishop of Oxford, and science writer and columnist Matt Ridley.

To find out more about the committee and to participate to the discussion, click here.

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