A House of Lords select committee has said the government should set up a national body to regulate use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the UK’s justice system, after warning deployment of such tools poses a serious threat to civil liberties.
In a report, the House of Lords committee warned that “without many of us realizing it, Artificial Intelligence has begun to permeate every aspect of our personal and professional lives.”
In investigating use of AI in the UK’s justice system, the committee said it had uncovered “a new Wild West, in which technologies are developing at a pace that public awareness, government and legislation have not kept up with.”
The committee warned there has been a lack of scrutiny in the use and deployment of AI technologies, as it warned the AI market itself is “worryingly opaque”.
The report says there are currently no minimum standards for use of AI technologies in the justice system, as it claims that most public bodies lack the expertise and resources to carry out proper evaluations of AI tools.
The report notes that the UK’s 43 police forces are currently free to buy and use any AI tools they like, as it claims that public bodies “often do not know much about the systems they are buying and will be implementing, due to the seller’s insistence on commercial confidentiality.”
The Lords also noted that there is currently no central register of AI technologies, meaning it is currently nigh on impossible to find out where they have been deployed and how they are being used.
The committee said that while AI tools offer a “huge opportunity” to prevent crime, they may also “exacerbate discrimination” by embedding human biases into algorithms.