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UK Launches Hub to Shape AI Global Standards

The Alan Turing Institute, supported by the British Standards Institution (BSI) and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), will pilot a new UK government initiative aiming to shape global technical standards for Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The new AI Standards Hub, which is part of the National AI Strategy that is backed by the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Office for AI (OAI), will create practical tools for businesses and organizations, bringing the UK’s AI community together through a new online platform, and developing educational, training, and professional development materials to help organizations contribute, develop, and meet global standards.

In 2020, UK businesses spent around £63 billion on AI technology and AI-related labour. The announcement comes as new research finds more than 1.3 million UK businesses will use AI by 2040 and spending on AI is expected to reach more than £200 billion by that time.

“It’s imperative the UK remains at the forefront of this transformative technology which is already improving our lives and has huge potential to create new jobs and wealth,” said Chris Philp, DCMS Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy.

“It marks the first step in delivering our new National AI Strategy and will develop the tools needed so organisations and consumers can benefit from all the opportunities of AI.”

In its pilot phase, the new hub will focus on:

  • AI standards information/tools: Growing UK engagement to develop global AI standards by bringing together information about technical standards and development initiatives in an accessible, user-friendly and inclusive way.
  • Engagement in global AI standards development: Bringing the AI community together through workshops, events and a new online platform to encourage more coordinated engagement in the development of standards around the world.
  • Educational materials: Creating tools and guidance for education, training, and professional development to help businesses and other organizations engage with creating AI technical standards, and collaborate globally to develop these standards.
  • International collaboration on AI standards: Exploring international collaboration with similar initiatives to ensure the development of technical standards are shaped by a wide range of AI experts, in line with shared values.

“International standards are set to play an increasingly crucial enabling role in the adoption and effective governance of AI technologies. Given our place at the heart of the UK’s thriving AI ecosystem, I am delighted to see the Turing identified as the home of this important new initiative,” said Adrian Smith, Director and Chief Executive of The Alan Turing Institute.

“We look forward to working closely with our partners in establishing the AI Standards Hub, leveraging our expertise and networks to build and engage an inclusive, multi-stakeholder community around AI standardisation.”

Scott Steedman, CBE FREng, Director-General of Standards at BSI, said: “International standards are a vital tool to help unlock the economic potential of AI, including establishing a common language for all to use.

“BSI, as the National Standards Body is ideally placed to convene the AI community in the UK to identify and develop good practices for the development, governance and use of AI technologies that will be internationally recognised.”

“This is an amazing first in that we’ve brought together some of the key components of the UK’s National Quality Infrastructure to work with cross government departments and academia to pilot and foster a holistic approach to the UK becoming a scientific superpower in an area of strategic importance,” added Sundeep Bhandari, Strategy Manager for the Digital Sector at NPL.



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