Lords Back UK Music’s Key Principles On Artificial Intelligence In Parliamentary Debate

25.03.2024: Lord Holmes’ Artificial Intelligence (Regulation) Bill was debated in the House of Lords on Friday.

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25.03.2024: Lord Holmes’ Artificial Intelligence (Regulation) Bill was debated in the House of Lords on Friday March 22.

The proposals outlined in the new Bill will create a new body, known as the AI Authority, to help secure the opportunities and mitigate the challenges posed by AI.

A cross-party group of peers spoke in support of the Bill, with many endorsing key principles on AI that align with those outlined by UK Music here. In particular, there was strong support behind UK Music’s principles of creators’ choice, labelling and record keeping. You can read a full transcript of the debate here.

Opening the proceedings, Lord Holmes (Conservative) stressed the importance of the UK taking the lead in legislating and providing regulatory clarity on AI. He outlined that “we need something that is principles-based and outcomes-focused, with input transparent, permissioned and wherever applicable paid for and understood”.

Following on, Baroness Stowell (Conservative) emphasised that “the point of copyright is to reward innovation, yet tech firms have been exploiting rightsholders by using works without permission or payment”. This pivotal point, advocated by UK Music, underlines the importance of allowing rightsholders to determine if and how they want to use their creative talent.

This sentiment was echoed by various peers, including Baroness Twycross (Labour), Lord Freyberg (Crossbench), and Lord Clement-Jones (Liberal Democrat).

Lord Freyberg (Crossbench) backed UK Music’s principle of record keeping, stating that; “It is therefore critical to maintain a record of every work that AI applications use”. He explained that there is currently no legal requirement to disclose the material AI systems are trained on.

Requirements for record keeping are increasingly being incorporated into AI proposals worldwide, including in the EU and China. It was encouraging to see support in the Lords for the notion that the UK must align with these global trends.

Lord Clement-Jones (Lib Dem) was strongly supportive of the principle of labelling AI-generated content as such, highlighting its importance in protecting consumers from misleading claims. He highlighted that this recommendation was also recently endorsed by the House of Lords’ Communications and Digital Committee.

In summarising the key principles behind his Bill, Lord Holmes (Conservative) was clear that labelling and protecting intellectual property were core tenets of the Bill.

Responding to the contributions made, Minister for Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property, Viscount Camrose, said that the Government had several reservations with the Bill. Specifically, he highlighted concerns regarding the concept of creating a new AI regulator. He said that the Government favours using existing regulators to deliver against the AI regulatory framework.

The Bill will now progress to its committee stage. UK Music will continue to advocate for its key principles regarding AI, ensuring they remain a focus of the debate during the committee proceedings.

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