On July 7, 2023, the UK House of Lords’ Communications and Digital Committee (the “Committee”) announced an inquiry into Large Language Models (“LLMs”), a type of generative AI used for a wide range of purposes, including producing text, code and translations. According to the Committee, they have launched the inquiry to understand “what needs to happen over the next 1–3 years to ensure the UK can respond to the opportunities and risks posed by large language models.”
This inquiry is the first UK Parliament initiative to evaluate the UK Government’s “pro-innovation” approach to AI regulation, which empowers regulators to oversee AI within their respective sectors (as discussed in our blog here). UK regulators have begun implementing the approach already. For, example, the Information Commissioner’s Office has recently issued guidance on AI and data protection and generative AI tools that process personal data (see our blogs here and here for more details).
Scope of the Inquiry
The Committee will examine the work of the UK Government and regulators and evaluate “how well [they] address current and future technological capabilities”. It will also consider developments and regulatory approaches taken to generative AI outside of the UK.
As part of its inquiry, the Committee has issued a call for evidence, seeking written submissions on questions including:
- How LLMs will develop over the next three years;
- The greatest opportunities and risks LLMs are likely to pose over the next three years;
- Whether, and to what extent, the UK Government’s AI White Paper and other policies adequately deal with LLMs, and whether a tailored regulatory approach is needed;
- Whether the UK’s regulators have sufficient expertise and resources to oversee LLMs and if not, what should be done about this;
- What are the regulatory and non-regulatory options to address risks and capitalise on opportunities posed by LLMs; and
- How the UK’s approach compares with other jurisdictions, including the EU, US and China.
Interested parties have until 5 September 2023 to submit their responses to the Committee.
Covington regularly advises the world’s top technology companies on their most challenging regulatory, compliance, and public policy issues. We are monitoring developments in AI policy and regulation closely. Please get in touch with a member of the team if you have any questions.
This article was prepared with the help of Edwin Djabatey, a trainee solicitor in the London office.