Artificial Intelligence - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:02 pm on 26th April 2018.

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Photo of Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 2:02 pm, 26th April 2018

The Statement said that AI had the potential to bring about a massive increase in productivity. In some areas, it will, as case studies show. For example, KLM doubled the number of text-based customer inquiries it handled during the past year while increasing the number of agents by 6%, so it is possible. I understand that there will be disruption in jobs because there will be probably be an increase in the number of high-value jobs. It will have implications. Overall, we think that it has the potential to raise productivity if it is handled properly, and by quite a lot. However, we accept that it has problems. We have to encourage such things as lifetime learning to enable people to transfer their skills so that they can contribute in a more modern way.

We accept that there are problems and dangers. That is one reason why we will have the centre for data ethics and innovation: so that we can bring in independent people to advise the Government on where regulation will be necessary and how regulations and laws should be developed. We are addressing that. The AI council will also inform government, because it will not just be government mandating from the centre; it will be a place where academia, the sector, industry and government can come together to drive the changes in the future.