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Parliament Launches Enquiry into the Future of AI

July 28, 2017 | By | No Comments

The poor weather is back and what a surprise that is when we live in Britain, well at least it has cooled off enough to remove the muggy feeling that had been lingering. Looking back at the previous blogs we have been quite focussed on the defence sector so we are going to try and spread it out. To remedy this, we are going to look at including more expansive array of topics for the blog, with the hope to better suit the interests of the wide range of sectors we deal with. We hope that you enjoy the topics that we will be looking at and if there is anything you would like us to look at specifically, just drop us a comment.

Today’s topic is based on the news that the House of Lords has launched an enquiry into Artificial Intelligence (AI) and what it holds for the future. They are giving the chance for experts to offer their opinions on the effects that emerging AI will have on all walks of life. The enquiry will consider the implications that AI has from Ethical, Economic and Social stand points. They will try to achieve this by examining the state that AI is in at the moment and looking into how it could develop in the future. The committee is already taking submissions of evidence for the enquiry and will be looking to finish their report by the end of March 2018.

The Chairman of the Committee, Lord Clement-Jones, said “This inquiry comes at a time when artificial intelligence is increasingly seizing the attention of industry, policymakers and the general public. The Committee wants to use this inquiry to understand what opportunities exist for society in the development and use of artificial intelligence, as well as what risks there might be.”

“We are looking to be pragmatic in our approach, and want to make sure our recommendations to government and others will be practical and sensible. There are significant questions to address relevant to both the present and the future, and we want to help inform the answers to them. To do this, we need the help of the widest range of people and organisations,”

Obviously one of the larger concerns with the development in AI is that certain larger companies are ahead of the curve like Google. These companies are also large enough with powerful enough resources that they may be able to create a monopoly. This has already become apparent with Google creating a deal with the NHS to gain access to Sensitive Data Sets because in return they are developing a Clinical System. This is something that smaller companies would not be able to do which gives larger AI an advantage with the data they have access to.

Another of the concerns which I am sure you have heard before, is the replacement of certain jobs with robotics and AI. We have already seen a few areas (especially in manual labour and production) jobs being replaced by robots and we could certainly see service based industry affected in the same way by AI development. An insurance firm in Japan has already begun with replacing 34 of its staff with AI to calculate insurance pay-outs. The 200m yen AI system is estimated to be 30% more productive while saving the company 140m yen a year on salaries. While there would be a 15m yen maintenance cost per year it would be profitable in two years versus keeping the employees.

It will be these sort of issues as well as many other issues and benefits that the committee will have to consider when they create their report for the Government. What are your thoughts on the development of AI and robotics? Do you think that this is a good thing or perhaps you think that in the long run it would be negative? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,



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