back to article Pound falling, Marmite off the shelves – what the UK needs right now is ... an AI ethics board

The UK government has been urged to establish an AI ethics board to tackle the creeping influence of machine learning on society. The call comes from a Robotics and Artificial Intelligence report published yesterday by the the House of Commons science and technology select committee. It quotes experts who warned the panel that …


  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Government Ethics?

    Equally as artificial as it's intelligence

  2. Cynic_999

    A bigger issue nobody is addressing

    We desperately need new laws and regulations to control the movement of people by teleportation. How can we secure our borders when the time arrives when an Eskimo can teleport directly into Piccadilly Circus? How do we combat terrorism when bombs can be teleported into the Houses of Parliament? Compared to these very real dangers, minor issues regarding the politically correct way to address and refer to one of our mechanical citizens (when they arrive) pales into insignificance.

    I am willing to head a committee to urgently address this alarming issue, and I will work for the very low salary of barely more than £10000.

    Per day. Plus expenses. And an important-looking hat. I may agree to forego the usual moat and duck-house so long as I get a couple of girlfriends thrown in. Per week - I'm not greedy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A bigger issue nobody is addressing

      We also need to address how we will keep control of the rebelling outer colonies in Alpha Centauri and Proxima as FTL transportation become more affordable, I propose guidance ensuring that such technology remains affordable only to true blooded Sols!

  3. martinusher Silver badge

    Those that can, do....

    ....and those who can't form committees to discuss the ethics of whatever it is they can't do.

    This does sound a bit like a job creation scheme.

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge


    FFS ... Whatever next ... to try and retain and maintain established command and control hierarchies/apathetic oligarchies.

  5. ratfox

    Pure comedy

    methods are required to verify that AI systems are operating in a transparent manner, to make sure that their behaviour is not unpredictable, and that any decisions made can be explained

    Wait, you're serious. Let me laugh even harder!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The emergency is over!

    Marmite will be back on the shelves ... HURRAH!

    1. Duffy Moon

      Re: The emergency is over!

      Praise Marmite in all its delicious, salty umami-ness!

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: The emergency is over!

      The emergence and insurgence is only beginning and started.

      Deny it and fail to engage spectacularly and catastrophically with ITs FutureBuiders

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Given not a single artificial intelligence exists (as I would understand it, that being self aware with a consciousness - otherwise it's just a program) and if one did exist it's entirely possible nobody would know shouldn't the first task of the AI Ethics board be to determine what they mean by the term Artificial Intelligence. As at the moment it's just an exciting name for a set of algorithms with specific tasks.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wait, what?!

    Wouldn't it be slightly more to the point to insist on decent ethics in something that definitely exists, has been around for a couple of millenia or so, and in which lack of ethical behaviour has caused some of the greater problems of recent history, namely business in general?

    I mean, it's nice that, just for once, bods are at least trying to think ahead on an IT-related subject, but blimey, what a one to pick!


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