In an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Behzad Ahmadi Lafouraki referred to the British prime minister’s statement regarding his country’s plan to become the world headquarters for artificial intelligence and noted: that Britain has traditionally tried to define a role for itself in historical events. In the 1980s, that country also made good use of the evolution that occurred in financial transactions so that the city of London eventually turned into the insurance and banking center of the world. Now, Mr. Sunak is looking for a similar advantage, considering artificial intelligence a transformative technology.
He said that at the height of Britain’s need to redefine itself, its power, and its position in the international system, it is Rishi Sunak’s opportunism that is trying to create an achievement for himself that may also attract the attention of the people of that country. Regarding the technical ability of Britain in the field of artificial intelligence, he added: Britain claims to be the third country that has invested the most in the field of artificial intelligence after the United States and China, and according to the government of that country, technological companies that have used artificial intelligence have brought 3.7 billion pounds of added value to the British economy, and the private sector has attracted 22 billion pounds of capital in this area.
The analyst of the international governance of cyberspace considered the claim of Britain true but inaccurate and continued: The 27-nation European Union has a higher position than Britain in this area. After the European Union, Britain, Germany, the Israeli regime, Canada, India, and France are in the following positions. Still, the investment difference between the US and China with those countries is great. In a situation with this big difference in statistics, those countries are trying to define roles for themselves in this field, including the role of the regulator, the norm setter, and the standard setter.
Saying that it seems Britain is looking for alignment with the European Union in the form of a new role that it is trying to define for itself, Ahmadi added: Recently, the European Parliament approved the draft of its first law in the field of artificial intelligence. This draft defines specific and separate laws for artificial intelligence, which will probably create its particular regulatory body. Of course, this law has not yet been finalized, but the Europeans are looking to present a more comprehensive artificial intelligence law, and it seems that this measure will take several months.
According to him, The European Union has also been a leader in the regulation field, and artificial intelligence has attracted the attention of its member states. The European Union has defined different obligations according to the level of risks that artificial intelligence can create, and companies must give different obligations according to those definitions. Such commitments are based on a classification system that defines four levels of risk for artificial intelligence: “unacceptable,” “high,” “limited,” and “minimum.”
Ahmadi pointed out: Parallel to the fact that the European Union is defining itself as a regulatory and legislative power in this field, Britain’s activity has also become serious, and by holding a global conference on the regulation of artificial intelligence in the coming months, it tries to introduce itself as the regulation center of artificial intelligence in the world. Regardless of Britain’s magnification of its AI prowess, the chances of success for the country to emerge as a regulatory power are high.
The expert on the international governance of cyberspace, recalling that in September 2021, Britain, while publishing its national artificial intelligence strategy, claimed that it would become the world’s superpower in the field of artificial intelligence in a 10-year plan, continued: After a break, Britain in another document published its innovation and invention protection approach for the regulation of artificial intelligence, and in that document, unlike the European Union, did not legislate separately for artificial intelligence, but spoke about the adaptation of existing laws for the regulation of the new technology.
Ahmadi listed security and flexibility, transparency and explainability, fairness, accountability, and creating governance capability. The possibility of protesting and declaring damages among the five criteria of Britain and said: Britain, rather than wanting to play a pioneering role in artificial intelligence, tries to play a pioneering role in its regulation. In this regard, it is not looking for independent laws and institutions but wants to set flexible laws that will allow the country to play a serious role.
He considered the size of Britain’s alleged investment as a suitable position for that country to play its role in artificial intelligence and added that Britain has valuable databases in various fields, where it is said that the records collected in it are valuable. However, the country’s low investment volume in artificial intelligence compared to China and the United States, as well as the country’s small population, leads to less data generation, and the centrality of numerous data that need to be created for data centers are among other weaknesses of Britain. In addition, the discussion of advanced graphics chips and the training of people who should work in this field and its engineers are also significant issues and serious competition should be formed so that London can define an important role compared to the US and China.