The unions have stated that the Conservative government’s artificial intelligence (AI) policy is “flimsy and vague.” This opinion was formed after the publication of a white paper by Downing Street outlining an ‘adaptable’ approach to regulating AI.
Paul Nowak, the TUC general secretary, has advocated for strong health and safety measures in all sorts of environments – from workplaces to other settings.
Paul Nowak says:
“Spectacularly fails to ensure that employment law keeps pace with the AI revolution.”
He also suggested that ministers were taking the easier route by planning on using regulators in different current sectors instead of creating a particular governing body for AI. According to him, this amounts to “passing the buck.”
Michelle Donelan, the Secretary for Science, Innovation, and Technology, asserted that her approach to science, innovation, and technology demonstrates versatility.
Michelle Donelan says:
“I would strike a balance between regulation and innovation, build public trust in the rapidly developing technology and tap its economic potential.”
New guidance by existing regulators is to be issued within a year before any new legislation is introduced, and she urged these regulators to consider it.
Michelle Donelan went on to say:
“Safety, transparency and fairness to guide the use of AI in their industries.”
Labour blasted the delay for AI regulation, despite ChatGPT and Google’s Bard already making AI a regular part of our everyday lives. Shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell criticized this, stating that this regulation would take months or even years to effect.
Michelle Donelan adds to say:
“The government risks reinforcing gaps in our existing regulatory system and making the system hugely complex for businesses and citizens to navigate.”
Usdaw’s General Secretary Paddy Lillis urged for a “new deal for workers” again, cautioning that by 2030, almost ninety percent of employees will have to seek further training due to technological advancements.
Paddy Lillis says:
“We need a new deal that offers real investment in skills and training, that provides well-paid, high-quality and secure employment and recognises the value of trade unions.
“Employers and governments must work alongside unions to protect workers and make the future of work fair and just for all.”
As AI continues to transform the world of work, we must take a proactive and responsible approach to its development and deployment. This requires a clear commitment to worker protection, ethical considerations, and a fair distribution of benefits and risks. Only by working together can we ensure that the benefits of AI are shared by all and that no one is left behind.
Source: Morning Star