The well-meaning ethical principles and frameworks for AI systems now need to be turned into practical measures. However, it is not appropriate for rich countries developing the technology to dictate these measures to the rest of the world.
At the TechUK Digital Ethics Summit, panelists discussed recent developments in AI governance, including the release of generative models such as ChatGPT. Progress has been made, such as the UK government’s AI whitepaper and the EU’s AI Act, but there is concern that the discussion around controlling AI is being dominated by wealthy countries.
There is a consensus that the international debate around AI needs to focus more on the social and technical aspects, including the political economy of the technology and its real-world effects. Industry responsibility practices have been called into question, with concerns raised about the release of ChatGPT and the lack of addressing issues and assessing the risk of AI models.
The UK’s approach to AI regulation has been praised for its adaptive and context-based framework, but there are concerns that the current government’s stance against regulation is out of step with other jurisdictions. The need for horizontal and vertical regulations across various sectors is highlighted.
Translation of words into action is crucial in developing concrete policies for ethical and responsible AI. It is important for legal frameworks to consider the different rates of AI development in different countries. The focus should shift from speculative risks to the existing risks of AI systems and the broader socio-technical aspects, including the political economy.
There is a need for a more balanced and inclusive global conversation on AI regulation, as the dominance of wealthy nations from the global north can exclude many from the discussion. Cross-border community-led initiatives and citizen assemblies can help address practical issues and ensure diverse representation.
Public engagement in AI governance is essential, as it can provide valuable insights and perspectives. The integration of citizen assembly-style bodies into global governance frameworks is recommended to ensure a more inclusive and informed decision-making process.