Abstract. The publication of the UK’s National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy represents a step-change in the national industrial, policy, regulatory, and geo-strategic agenda. Although there is a multiplicity of threads to explore this text can be read primarily as a ‘signalling’ document. Indeed, we read the National AI Strategy as a vision for innovation and opportunity, underpinned by a trust framework that has innovation and opportunity at the forefront. We provide an overview of the structure of the document and offer an emphasised commentary on various standouts. Our main takeaways are: Innovation First: a clear signal is that innovation is at the forefront of UK’s data priorities. Alternative Ecosystem of Trust: the UK’s regulatory-market norms becoming the preferred ecosystem is dependent upon the regulatory system and delivery frameworks required. Defence, Security and Risk: security and risk are discussed in terms of utilisation of AI and governance. Revision of Data Protection: the signal is that the UK is indeed seeking to position itself as less stringent regarding data protection and necessary documentation. EU Disalignment—Atlanticism?: questions are raised regarding a step back in terms of data protection rights. We conclude with further notes on data flow continuity, the feasibility of a sector approach to regulation, legal liability, and the lack of a method of engagement for stakeholders. Whilst the strategy sends important signals for innovation, achieving ethical innovation is a harder challenge and will require a carefully evolved framework built with appropriate expertise.
December 6th, 2021
Innovation and opportunity: review of the UK’s national AI strategy
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