CMA helps launch AI hub to guide developers on regulation

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) is joining other key regulators on a pilot scheme designed to help firms developing AI to meet existing regulatory standards.

The Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF), which includes the CMA, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), and Ofcom, will give companies access to informal advice to support them in complying with different regulatory regimes that govern the development and deployment of AI models.

The announcement comes ahead of a government deadline set for 30th April which calls on UK regulators to outline their strategic approach to AI.

The deadline also requires UK watchdogs to explain the steps they are taking following the launch of a governmental whitepaper last year which proposed a new framework for governing AI based on five principles: safety, security and robustness; appropriate transparency and explainability; fairness; accountability and governance; and contestability and redress.

It is up to the regulators to interpret and apply these principles to AI use cases within their remits.

While the framework is non-statutory, the government said it may become necessary to enforce these standards at a later point.

Speaking about the launch of the new hub, the technology secretary described AI as the "defining technology of our generation".

“Through the AI and Digital Hub, we can bring groundbreaking innovators together with our expert regulators to streamline the process of harnessing the technology’s incredible potential," said secretary of state for science, innovation, and technology, Michelle Donelan.
“Our regulatory approach to AI places innovation at its heart, and this pilot scheme will play a vital role in helping us to refine that approach both now and in the years to come.”

The tech department said that the hub will give regulators the opportunity to gain first-hand insights and feedback from innovators, helping them to refine their regulatory regimes for AI models which will strengthen the UK’s overall regulatory approach and help them to "inform new guidance".

It also delivers on the Vallance review recommendation to establish an AI Regulation Sandbox, which will invite applications from a range of tech developers from across the economy.

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