CBI urges Government to set up commission to study AI

DataIQ News

The CBI is calling on the Government to establish a joint commission - involving business, employee representatives, academics and ministers - to examine the impact of artificial intelligence on people and jobs, setting out plans for action that will raise productivity, spread prosperity and open up new paths to economic growth.

The industry body, which represents 190,000 firms of all sizes and sectors, has also set out further proposals on how the Government can help create the right environment for growing businesses to thrive and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by AI, blockchain and the Internet of Things.

As part of these proposals, it wants the Government to include commitments in the UK Data Protection Bill so that companies will have adequate time to prepare for measures - already included in GDPR - that set a clear framework for safeguarding the data generated by IoT devices.

The CBI also wants blockchain technology to have regulatory co-ordination at both a domestic and international level to avoid fragmentation and encourage industry collaboration.

Regulators should work closely with the different industry consortia and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to share best practice and learnings, the organisation insists.

CBI deputy director-general Josh Hardie said: “Much is made of new technologies and how they will impact companies in 10 or 20 years, but these are no longer ideas on the fringes and are shifting rapidly into the business mainstream.

“The UK must lead the way in adopting these technologies but we must also prepare for their impacts. That’s why we urge the Government to set up a joint commission on AI in 2018 to better understand the impact on people’s lives, jobs and our future economic growth.

“AI solves problems. Blockchain changes how businesses exchange value. The Internet of Things unlocks big data. Companies of all sizes, in any sector and across the UK have a golden opportunity to benefit and lift their productivity. Businesses that invest and innovate tend to grow quicker and get the best out of their workforce.

“But while these technologies are in action now, regulatory hurdles, security concerns and finding people with the right skills, mean that many firms are slow to adopt.

“Gene editing, space tourism, self-driving vehicles, robotic limbs, floating farms, London to Sydney in four hours. Innovations like these will shape the course of the next decade and many will improve lives across the globe. It’s up to business, government and employee groups to make sure the UK economy leads from the front.”