Law Society says that legal sector must play an integral role in the advancement and regulation of AI

June 30, 2023

The Law Society has responded to the UK government’s White Paper on the regulation of AI. In that response, it has highlighted the important role that the legal profession plays in the advancement of responsible technologies, as well as in implementing standards and regulation.

Its key recommendations include:

  • the UK government should introduce a blend of adaptable, principle-based regulation and firm legislation. This balanced approach would establish a comprehensive safety net, safeguarding societal interests while not impeding technological progression;
  • legislation focusing on and clearly defining what ‘high-risk contexts’ and ‘dangerous capabilities’ are. This would establish parameters where the use of AI is unacceptable or where it is inappropriate for AI to make zero-sum decisions;
  • the government should also set out a definition for ‘meaningful human intervention’ in AI;
  • organisations of a certain size, operating in high-risk areas, or those developing an AI system with dangerous capabilities should appoint an AI Officer;
  • expertise of the legal profession should be recognised and harnessed in the AI regulatory approach;
  • legal professional privilege must be protected in the future regulation of AI;
  • drive economic growth by requiring companies to provide clarity on procurement practices; communicate a clear position on intellectual property and AI; and provide targeted support for the SMEs;
  • the UK government should identify and support the role of insurance providers, and facilitate collaboration among insurers, businesses, technologists, consumer rights or experienced organisations, and regulators to cover AI-related risks and uncertainties;
  • mandating transparency for the use of  AI in government or public services and establishing a due diligence system to boost public trust;
  • broad cross-sector and international alignment to reduce divergence, duplication, and fragmentation; and
  • build the UK workforce and regulator capability to take advantage of AI opportunities.

The consultation ended on 21 June 2023.