The UK doesn’t plan on introducing AI regulation anytime soon — in contrast to the EU’s and China’s strict legislation efforts.
During a Financial Times conference on Thursday, the country’s first minister for AI and intellectual property, Viscount Jonathan Camrose, confirmed government concerns over regulation curbing growth and said that a UK law on artificial intelligence won’t be coming “in the short term.”
While he refrained from critising other nations’ approaches, he noted that “there is always a risk of premature regulation,” which could do more harm than good by “stifling innovation.”
The statements come as no surprise and are on par with the UK’s overall vision to transform itself into an AI-enabled country and economy.
In a white paper published in March, officials already put forward a clear, pro-innovation agenda, noting that a heavy-handed and rigid approach would slow AI adoption.
“To ensure we become an AI superpower, it is crucial that we do all we can to create the right environment to harness the benefits of AI and remain at the forefront of technological developments,” Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, wrote in the paper. “That includes getting regulation right so that innovators can thrive and the risks posed by AI can be addressed.”
The UK has also introduced a designated AI taskforce to boost the development of foundation models, while Rishi Sunak has been bedding with big tech and has secured “early access” to the models of DeepMind, OpenAI, and Anthropic.
Meanwhile, the EU, the US, and China are moving closer to overreaching, risk-based legislation. It remains to be seen whether the UK’s intended lax regulatory environment can strike the right balance — especially amidst recurring calls to ensure regulatory safeguards before it’s too late.