Why do we need a National AI Strategy
The AI Council recognised that its Roadmap of sixteen recommendations (regarding R&D, skills and diversity, data, infrastructure, public trust, investment and adoption) would need to be rolled out over time and therefore, it encouraged the UK Government to produce a National AI Strategy.
In its published form, the National AI Strategy (the Strategy) sets out a 10-year plan to make the UK “a global AI superpower” building on research and development success in the field as well as previous AI Sector Deal investment and establishment of AI bodies and structures (not least the AI Council and Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI)).
The Strategy notes specific goals for the UK to experience significant growth in AI discoveries made, commercialised and exploited in the UK, associated economic and productivity growth and to establish a trusted and pro-innovation AI governance system. But more generally, the Strategy mirrors other recent publications, highlighting the UK Government’s desire to provide a pro-innovation environment, with a business-friendly regulatory framework, whilst protecting the public and fundamental values.
The Strategy differentiates AI (defined as “machines that perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, especially when the machines learn from data how to do those tasks”) from other technology or digital policy, calling out features that the UK Government considers require a unique policy response. These include, for example, questions regarding liability, fairness, transparency bias, risk and safety arising from AI system autonomy and algorithm complexity; issues regarding greater infrastructure requirements necessary to perform; multiple skills sets necessary and lengthy commercialisation journeys.
The three pillars
The National AI Strategy points to three core pillars:
• Investment in long term needs of the AI ecosystem-to ensure competitiveness
• Supporting transition to an AI enabled economy-considering all sectors and regions
• Ensuring the right national and international governance of AI technologies-working with global partners to promote responsible AI development