Regulatory Outlook

Artificial intelligence | UK Regulatory Outlook April 2024

Published on 23rd Apr 2024

Guidance on responsible use of AI in recruitment | Responsible AI toolkit | UN adopts resolution on AI

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UK updates

Guidance on responsible use of AI in recruitment

The UK Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) has published guidance around the responsible use of AI in the HR and recruitment sector, as was trailed in the government's response to the AI white paper.

The "Responsible AI in Recruitment" guide is designed for a non-technical audience and assumes a minimal understanding of AI. It outlines key considerations to bear in mind when procuring and deploying AI responsibly in the recruitment context; assurance mechanisms for procurement of an AI system from third-party suppliers and deployment, to make sure the organisation's practices align with the UK AI regulatory approach and principles; and outlines potential ethical risks associated with using AI in recruitment and hiring processes, accompanied by examples.

The non-binding guidance stands in contrast to the EU's approach, where AI used in recruitment will be classified as "high risk" under the EU's AI Act. In addition, specific prohibitions and obligations will be imposed under the EU platform workers directive in relation to monitoring or decision-making by AI-powered recruitment systems.

Responsible AI toolkit

DSIT has published a "Responsible AI Toolkit" which collects guidance published to support organisations in developing and deploying AI systems safely and responsibly. It will be updated over time to include new resources.

CMA publishes update paper on AI foundation models

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published an update paper on AI foundation models. The CMA provides an overview of how the sector has developed since its initial report published in September 2023 (see this Regulatory Outlook) highlighting the ongoing increase in the use of foundation models by businesses and consumers.

The CMA has updated its guidance for foundation model developers to reflect feedback from stakeholders. The report also outlined three key interlinked risks that the CMA has identified in relation to maintaining fair, open and effective competition in foundation model markets. See the Competition section for more.

ICO publishes third call for evidence on generative AI and data protection 

The UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has published a third consultation on generative AI and data protection. This call for evidence focuses on how the general UK GDPR principle of accuracy applies to the outputs of generative AI models, and the impact that the accuracy of training data has on the output.

The first consultation looked at "The lawful basis for web scraping to train generative AI models" and the second consultation focused on "Purpose limitation in the generative AI lifecycle".

The third consultation closes on 10 May 2024 and responses can be submitted in this form.

UK Culture, Media and Sport Committee calls on government to ensure fair remuneration for the use of creators' work by AI developers

The UK House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee has published a report on remuneration in the creative industries which, among other things, discussed the issue of a voluntary code of practice on copyright and AI. The committee addressed the government's response to the consultation on its AI white paper where it announced that no agreement had been reached on the voluntary code.

The committee highlights that, despite the government's announcement that it would consider legislating if there was no agreement on a code of conduct, the government has not yet indicated its intention to do so. It calls on the government to ensure that there is an effective mechanism in place for obtaining creators' consent for the use of their work by AI developers and that creators are fairly compensated for this. The committee also recommends that the government should set out a clear deadline by which it will intervene to introduce legislation to break any deadlock. 

International updates

UN adopts resolution on AI

The United Nations General Assembly has adopted a resolution on the promotion of safe, secure and trustworthy AI, with an emphasis on the sustainability of this technology. The resolution is addressed to businesses and private sector organisations as well as UN member states and calls on all to "develop and support regulatory and governance approaches and frameworks related to safe, secure and trustworthy artificial intelligence systems".

It emphasises the need to act in accordance with human rights principles when using AI (which might mean deciding not to use AI where this cannot be done in compliance with international human rights law) and also includes repeated references to the UN's 17 sustainable development goals.

WIPO factsheet on generative AI and intellectual property

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has published a factsheet focused on risks and safeguards to consider in relation to IP when adopting generative AI tools. The document provides an overview of risks and possible solutions to mitigate them, as well as a checklist of ways to use AI responsibly. The latter may be useful for businesses. 

And finally …

Do you want to know what's on the horizon for digital regulation? Our digital regulatory timeline offers an overview of major UK and EU digital regulation that is on the horizon, is in the legislative process, or is coming into force soon and covers a very wide range of topics including AI, platforms, digital services, content and connected products, data, cybersecurity and other regulation. We update it regularly, and add new content as it comes into view on the horizon.

We have also produced a video series setting out the four key stages in a business' journey to deploying, governing and managing AI. You can watch them here.


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* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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