£3.5 billion to support artificial intelligence (AI) – what does this mean for your business?

£3.5 billion to support artificial intelligence (AI) – what does this mean for your business?

On 15 March 2023, the Government announced almost £3.5 billion to support science and technology in the UK, in particular artificial intelligence (AI). Regulation of AI technology is a central focus for the government as they plan to develop the gold-standard for regulation of the industry which could be replicated internationally. The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology published a white paper on 29 March 2023 titled ‘AI Regulation: A Pro-Innovation Approach‘, which sets out the UK Government’s proposals to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) in a pro-innovation manner.

Regulation of AI Technology

The government accepted all the recommendations of a review by the government’s national technology adviser into regulating early-stage digital technologies which include the following:

  • Sandbox: a new cross-regulator AI sandbox is to be in operation within the next six months to test how regulation could be applied to the future of AI. A regulatory sandbox is a live testing environment which allows the testing of new products or services under enhanced regulatory supervision without the risk of liability.
  • Intellectual property law and generative AI: the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) will produce a code of practice by the summer to facilitate AI businesses to gain access to copyrighted material to use in their models. This has been up until now a barrier for the development of AI models. This code of practice should also address protections to be put in place for the holders of the copyright. In return for committing to the code of practice, the government have said that AI firms can expect to have a ‘reasonable licence’ offered by a rights holder.  

AI Challenge Prize

The government announced that they will launch a £1 million prize every year for the next 10 years for the best research into AI. It will be called the Manchester Prize in honour of the world’s first stored-programme computer built at the University of Manchester.

What does it mean for your business?

It is hoped that the government’s commitment to the AI industry will be welcomed by UK business as a boost to productivity across the economy.

For AI companies in particular, the government’s investment in creating a blueprint for industry regulation and finding a way through traditional barriers to AI development will encourage innovation and investment into the industry. On the other hand, those in the creative industries may be concerned about generative AI technology threatening their intellectual property rights.

If you have any queries in relation to the above and how it may impact your business, please get in touch with us.

About our expert

Jas Bhogal

Jas Bhogal

Corporate Partner
Jas qualified as a solicitor in 2006. She has 12 years' experience working almost exclusively with start up companies, high growth potential SMEs, along with venture capitalists, other investment platforms and individual and corporate investors.

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