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National AI Strategy – Feedback and Recommendations

October 27, 2021
This short document is a copy of our input to the Government's AI Council, giving feedback on the National AI Strategy published in October 2021.

As a vision, the National AI Strategy is welcome and we are impressed by the huge range of activities that are already in place and recognise the importance of the three pillars in it, in relation to business. However, we believe there are two further pillars which either need to be included in the next version of the AI Strategy, or tackled separately given their importance to society. We describe these two pillars, which are interlinked, as:

  • Managing the downsides and unintended consequences of AI deployment
  • Using AI to improve society for the good of all

In our view it would be a contingency planning failure not to tackle the first and a missed opportunity of epic proportions not to consider the second, especially at a time when ‘levelling-up’ is central to the Government’s agenda. In regard to the second we recognise many AI benefits will percolate through to everyone, but a ‘helicopter view’ is also required, otherwise ‘society changing’ opportunities will undoubtedly be missed. 

This document includes our thoughts about specific recommendations, as a starter for any discussion, but our whole purpose in providing this feedback to the AI Council is to try and ensure that these topics are accepted as strategically important to address in the short-term.

It includes largely similar material to that input to the AI APPG at AI - Job Disruption due to AI.