The UK government has unveiled plans to bolster AI regulation with an investment exceeding £100m, as outlined in its response to the AI Regulation White Paper consultation.

This initiative aims to equip regulators with the necessary tools and skills to navigate the challenges and opportunities that AI presents.

As part of the strategy, £10m will be allocated to prepare and upskill regulators, enabling them to effectively manage the risks associated with AI and capitalise on its potential benefits.

Tom Whittaker, senior associate at law firm Burges Salmon, said: “The UK government is trying to position itself as pro-innovation for AI generally and across multiple sectors. 

“This is notable at a time when the EU is pushing ahead with its own significant AI legislation that the EU consider will boost trustworthy AI but which some consider a threat to innovation.”

The fund will support research and practical tools, facilitating a proactive approach to monitoring and addressing risks across various sectors, including telecoms, healthcare, finance, and education.

Key regulators, including Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority, have been tasked with publishing their AI management plans by the end of April 2024.

The government’s response underscores a commitment to an agile, sector-specific regulatory framework, allowing rapid responses to emerging risks while fostering innovation.

Nearly £90m will be directed towards establishing nine research hubs, focusing on areas such as healthcare, chemistry, and mathematics.

A partnership with the US on responsible AI will further enhance collaboration in this rapidly advancing field.

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By GlobalData

Dr Marc Warner, CEO and co-founder, Faculty, said, “Governments and businesses must make good, conscious choices when implementing AI systems – and this means choosing safe, connected and human-first AI.

“That means using AI in a narrow way to solve specific problems, ensure systems aren’t built in isolation, and using it to augment human decision-making, not replace it.”

Additionally, £2m from the Arts and Humanities Research Council will fund research projects addressing responsible AI implementation in sectors like education, policing, and the creative industries.

A steering committee is set to launch in spring to support and guide a formal regulator coordination structure within the government.

These measures align with the £100m previously invested in the world’s first AI Safety Institute, showcasing the UK’s commitment to evaluating the risks associated with new AI models.