The Alan Turing Institute has announced the formal launch of an AI Standards Hub that the government trialed in January 2022.
The institute has teamed up with the British Standards Institution (BSI) and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) to form the hub, which is also supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the government’s office for artificial intelligence (AI).
The present government was formed on 6 September 2022, and so the launch of the hub is one of the first slew of initiatives that it publicly backs.
It is billed as part of the government’s 10-year national AI strategy, launched in September 2021.
The minister for technology and the digital economy, Damian Collins, who took up his position in August 2022 as part of outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson’s interim administration and supported Liz Truss to be leader of the Conservative Party in its leadership election, said: “Our National AI Strategy builds on the UK’s position at the forefront of artificial intelligence to fuel innovation and strengthen trust in this transformative technology.
“The hub’s launch sets the bar for the responsible creation, development and use of AI to unlock its full potential and drive growth across the country.”
Also from the government, its chief scientific adviser and national technology adviser, Patrick Vallance, said: “The UK’s new AI Standards Hub should help create the conditions needed to develop a thriving AI industry and promote innovation.”
Adrian Smith, director and chief executive of the Alan Turing Institute, said: “As artificial intelligence technologies play an increasingly crucial role across all sectors, it’s vital that the development and use of these technologies adheres to commonly agreed and ethically sound standards. This is why our new initiative is so important – it will support innovation and ensure that organisations and people are using AI responsibly.”
The Hub has an online platform, with information about existing AI standardisation efforts and related policy developments, and some capacity to engage with other users through a range of community features.
The Hub will also, said the ATI in a statement, seek to build a community around AI trustworthiness and the role of standards within it. It will offer training in the skills needed to get involved in standardisation efforts, as well as publish research and analysis about the topic.
Scott Steedman, director-general of standards at BSI, added: “As the UK’s National Standards Body, BSI is delighted to be playing a central role in the AI Standards Hub, a world-leading initiative to increase understanding of the standards that are supporting the deployment of AI technologies, and to inform the development of new standards. One of the most important of these for businesses of all sizes will be the AI management standard ISO/IEC 42001, which we will championing as a British Standard in the UK, and which will help companies take advantage of AI technologies in a responsible way.”
For the National Physical Laboratory, Sundeep Bhandari, strategy manager at the digital sector, said: “The launch of the AI Standards Hub signifies a coordinated UK effort to strengthen the UK’s contribution to the development of global AI technical standards. The hub provides an environment for our world-leading scientific researchers to take their work through from the lab to market and enables innovators to access, collaborate and create global standards.”