Digital Economy Bill - Committee (4th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 8th February 2017.

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Photo of The Bishop of Chester The Bishop of Chester Bishop 3:45 pm, 8th February 2017

My Lords, this is an important amendment because it touches upon the bigger issue of the impact of artificial intelligence on all sorts of aspects of our lives. There is a law called Moore’s law, which says that every two years the power of computers doubles. That has been true over the past 20 or 30 years and we should assume that that power will continue to develop. Artificial intelligence in all its impacting forms will be more and more prevalent in our society and more and more potent in the hands of terrorists in the years to come.

We cannot ask Ofcom to solve all the problems in this area, but I would like to know where the ownership of these risks and the rapid changes in our society falls in the eyes of the Government. Perhaps Ofcom has a role in this regard—search engines or whatever—but it is really part of a bigger picture of how we get ahead of the game with the impact of artificial intelligence. We read in the papers about driverless cars appearing on our streets, and in many other areas of life artificial intelligence will impact upon us. Where is this owned in the corridors of government?