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The UK and the EU: Taking different approaches to AI regulation

The UK and the EU: Taking different approaches to AI regulation

News 23/05/2023

The UK and EU are central to the future of global Artificial Intelligence (AI) governance, but with each currently appearing to be taking a different route to regulation development, which economic powerhouse will benefit most from their course of action?  

AI legislation in the EU looks to be moving forward much faster than in the UK after a key committee of lawmakers in the European Parliament approved the EU’s AI Act on the 11th of May 2023 – making it closer to becoming law.

China has already developed draft rules and legislation designed to supervise how businesses develop generative AI products, and the US favour a similar method to the UK but are yet to develop any federal regulatory plans.

UK developments aren’t proceeding quite as fast as they are in the European Parliament, with consultations on UK proposals not due to end until the 21st June this year. This might be of concern to businesses looking for reassurance that their intellectual assets are protected in a field that appears to evolve at lightning speed. On the other hand, it currently looks like the UK may be taking a more pro-innovation approach to AI developments with a lighter touch regulation being considered. This may be attractive to innovative companies.

The UK appears to be taking a different path to regulation of AI compared to the EU because the government fears that a mix of legal systems could confuse businesses, hindering their use of AI. Rather than assigning AI governance to a new regulator, the government wants existing regulators (e.g., Health and Safety Executive, Equality and Human Rights Commission, and Competition and Markets Authority) to develop their own approaches based on the way AI is used in their respective sectors. Whether this is the better approach remains to be seen.

If in doubt, contact your IP provider to discuss whether your AI innovations are protectable. At Secerna we have attorneys experienced in carrying out audits to identify potentially protectable IP. It is never too early to check, and we recommend regular reviews.