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UK AI Bill introduced in House of Lords

The Bill introduces significant provision for the creation of a regulator body, AI officer appointment, and transparency obligations

Robb Hiscock
Senior Content Marketing Specialist, CIPP/E CIPM
November 27, 2023

The U.K. flag flying in front of a pair of skyscrapers.

On November 23, 2023, the Artificial Intelligence (Regulation) Bill was introduced in the UK House of Lords, adding to the growing body of existing and proposed AI regulations, including in regions such as the EU and China. The Bill introduces a range of requirements for businesses that develop, deploy, or use Artificial Intelligence systems. The first reading of the bill took place on November 22, signaling the start of its journey through the House of Lords. The second reading is yet to be scheduled.

The bill still remains in its infancy, and it comes just a few weeks after the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, gave a speech noting that “The UK’s answer is not to rush to regulate.” However, should it progress, it outlines some key requirements to be aware of including the creation of an AI authority in the UK, the need to appoint an AI officer, and reporting requirements when training AI of third-party data and intellectual property (IP). 

 

What are the key requirements of the UK Artificial Intelligence (Regulation) Bill?

The bill sets out nine clauses including regulatory principles, transparency obligations, and regulatory sandboxes, among other things. However, some of the more significant provisions, detailed below, will establish rules for appointing individuals responsible for an organization’s oversight of AI, the creation of a regulatory body, and reporting obligations. Here is a closer look at a selection of the most significant provisions of the UK AI Bill. 

 

Creation of an AI Authority

The bill aims to establish a regulatory body, the AI Authority, that will have responsibilities including ensuring harmonized AI-related regulatory approaches, analyzing gaps in AI regulation, and reviewing relevant laws, such as those related to product safety, privacy, and consumer protection. 

The AI Authority will also evaluate the regulatory framework's effectiveness in fostering innovation and managing AI risks across the economy. It will engage in horizon-scanning, collaborate with the AI industry, support initiatives to bring AI technologies to market, accredit independent AI auditors, and educate businesses and individuals about AI. Additionally, the AI Authority will be responsible for aligning with international AI regulatory standards. 

 

AI officer appointment 

Another major provision found within the bill relates to a requirement for certain organizations to appoint an AI officer. The bill states that consultation between the Secretary of State, the AI Authority, and relevant experts must take place to establish specific regulations for every business involved in AI development, deployment, or use to appoint a designated AI officer. The officer is responsible for ensuring AI is used safely, ethically, and without bias or discrimination within the business. Additionally, the officer must seek to guarantee that data used in AI technologies is unbiased. 

Furthermore, this provision contains an amendment to The Companies Act 2006, which will update section 414C(7)(b) to include details about AI developments and the appointed AI officer's role and activities. 

 

Reporting requirements for third-party data and IP

Under the bill, the AI Authority will be required to establish regulations ensuring that: 

  1. All parties involved in AI training must submit to the AI Authority a detailed record of any third-party data and IP utilized during training. They must also confirm that all such data and IP are used with informed consent and in compliance with all relevant IP and copyright laws. 

  2. Entities providing AI-based products or services must clearly inform customers about any health risks, include explicit labels, and offer opportunities for customers to consent or decline consent beforehand. 

  3. Businesses that develop, deploy, or use AI are obligated to permit audits of their processes and systems by independent third parties accredited by the AI Authority. 

Furthermore, the regulations may specify the nature of informed consent either as explicit (opt-in) or implicit (opt-out) and may vary based on different scenarios.

 

What does the UK AI Bill mean for businesses and how does OneTrust help?

The AI Bill introduced to the House of Lords is at its earliest stage in the legislative process and therefore is subject to change following a range of consultations as it makes its way through both Houses. However, the rapid adoption of AI technologies and subsequent regulatory attention means that businesses should be developing robust AI governance programs to ensure they are developing, deploying, and using AI systems responsibly. 

In relation to the UK AI Bill, developing an AI governance program based on industry recognized frameworks – e.g. the NIST AI RMF – in preparation for new regulations will set organizations on the right path for when compliance obligations become a reality. Under the AI Bill in the UK, AI officers will need to oversee how their organizations build and use AI systems and will need to submit transparency to the AI Authority. Therefore, it’s essential that they are empowered with full visibility into the different systems, training models, and data that the organization has in order to ensure the correct safeguards and controls are implemented. 

The OneTrust AI Governance solution helps organizations to build visibility, transparency, and oversight into their AI adoption. The solution enables relevant teams to understand where AI/ML is being used, built, or procured, with a centralized inventory of AI systems. AI governance teams also have the ability to assess risks in individual AI applications and compliance with global requirements. Additionally, training datasets can be tracked and monitored  to promote transparency, remediate issues with data quality, and recognize and address biases. 

For more information about OneTrust’s Ai Governance solution, request a demo and speak to expert today. 


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