HM Treasury has published the report presented by Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, on Pro-innovation Regulation of Technologies Review: Digital Technologies.
The report highlights the challenges of rapidly evolving digital technologies to existing regulatory structures. The government intends to capitalise on the benefits of digital technologies, whilst minimising current and future risks. The review offers recommendations in three main areas:
- supporting a step-change in the UK’s regulatory approach to AI;
- facilitating greater industry access to public data to help deliver the government’s public services transformation programme and address pressing societal challenges; and
- government signalling and leadership to focus regulator efforts on innovation in autonomous vehicles, drones, cyber security, and space and satellite technologies.
The report suggests a three stage regulatory approach to technological innovation, being:
- regulatory flexibility and divergence at and early stage for emerging technologies, thereby defining regulations and standards in the global markets;
- promoting and learning from experimentation to support the scaling of key technologies e.g., through regulatory sandboxes and testbeds; and
- seeking international regulatory harmonisation once technologies are becoming established, ensuring market access for the most innovative companies.
HM Government has published its response to the recommendations, which the government accepts, and sets out how it proposes to implement them in practice.