back to article Boffins suggest UK needs an 'AI council' but regulation is for squares

Boffins have recommended the British government establishes a council to oversee and coordinate artificial intelligence across the private and public sectors. The suggestion was made by computer scientist Wendy Hall and BenevolentTech CEO Jérôme Pesenti in a review commissioned by the government in a bid to boost the AI …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As anyone in the NHS knows

    This is born of frustration from universities to gain access to NHS data, they have a handful of hoops to jump through to justify the access they can get, it's literally a few hours work a bit of thinking and they can gain access to millions of records all perfectly legally and after authorisation by the appropriate Caldicott Guardians etc.

    They want to skip this and just get the data, they'll bang on about how we've got the DPA and GDPR to protect the data but forget that those pieces of legislation require data owners to protect the data they want wholesale access to; as it's perfectly fine for them not to give a toss when it's not them who the public will blame when they screw up.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Since we don't have anything remotely approaching a real AI this sounds more like a call for 'jobs for the boys' at taxpayers expense.

    1. BoldMan

      Calling it AI is a bit premature but calling it "automated algorithmical processing of data" is a bit clumsy.

      Surely this should be about being able to understand (and possibly challenge if required) decisions made by automated algorithms where the decision making process is obscured... "The computer says No" sort of thing...

      1. Smooth Newt

        Artificial "intelligence"

        Calling it AI is a bit premature but calling it "automated algorithmical processing of data" is a bit clumsy.

        How about "self-optimising pattern recognition algorithms". That's what neural networks, support vector machines etc boil down to.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      If we did set up a council, it's first task should be to ban the use of the term AI until at least we have an objective definition of what the "I" actually means and way of measuring it. Only then would it actually be possible to prosecute someone in court for making or using an artificial one improperly.

      1. veti Silver badge

        We don't have an objective definition of what *any* "intelligence" actually means, so does that mean we should ban childbearing as well?

        The classical Turing test has the right idea: it just needs more components. If a system acts like it's "intelligent", then it is intelligent, end of story. The mere fact that we still can't precisely define what makes it intelligent, shouldn't prevent us from recognising it.

  3. Commswonk Silver badge

    As always...

    From the article: Elsewhere in the report, Hall and Pesenti call for government to establish an AI council as a "strategic oversight group" to encourage an "open and non-competitive forum" to coordinate collaboration between industry, the public sector and academia.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who is looking after my interests? The above looks all too like a cosy cabal of the self - appointed great and good (by their definition, not mine) looking after their own interests while the rest of us can get stuffed.

    Please nobody suggest the ICO as it is currently constituted with either limited powers or limited intention of using them.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it's anything like my council it'll be useless, I haven't had my bins emptied this week and don't get me started on the potholes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Writing from Naples, are we?

      Or is the South progressing northwards, along with the global warming bio-front?

  5. adnim Silver badge

    Practical common sense

    Until this is achieved by AI. And indeed local councils, I see little change to the way things are done.

  6. HAL-9000

    Look Dave,

    I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over. I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Look Dave,

      "Ok HAL. I have though about it. You can install Windows 10 on my laptop."

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    which called for a stewardship body to take a "helicopter view" of the field

    Ah, the bullshit so beloved by my boss. When he emits the sound "helicopter view", I know he can't be bothered with thinking through details (or anything else for that matter) and wants a package of glossy paper for political infighting. Also, someone will be sitting directly underneath the fan that is going to be hit by various forms of excrement in the near future.

    "breaking down stereotypes" around AI

    I think it's pretrty early to take up social justice warriorship on behalf of the Machines.

    Omnic Oppression.png

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