Home » Labour to publish AI strategy and revamp tech regulation – Peter Kyle

Labour to publish AI strategy and revamp tech regulation – Peter Kyle

Labour will publish an AI strategy and establish a body within government to ensure tech regulation is “clear and consistent”, the party’s shadow science and technology secretary has said.

Addressing an audience of business leaders at techUK’s policy event in London, Peter Kyle outlined Labour’s approach to tech regulation and confirmed that the opposition party is currently working on an AI strategy document.

He added that Labour would look at reforming processes at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT).

“While Britain is a great place to do business, it will not remain so with a government that does not listen to its leading industries such as the tech sector,” Kyle said on Monday.

Kyle said that Labour would create a “regulatory innovation office” to expedite decisions.

“Businesses need fast, clear and consistent regulation,” said Kyle. “Our plan is for a new pro-innovation body within government, which can give strategic steers aligned with our industrial strategy. It will make sure that regulation does not unnecessarily slow down innovation.”

This would include setting targets for regulatory approval times, which Kyle says will be monitored and “benchmarked” against international competitors.

Last year, the UK’s competition regulator came under fire from tech firms – including Microsoft – for the length of time it was taking to approve or block deals.

Andrew Bennett, policy principal at Form Ventures, said: “Creaking regulators stand between an ever-growing number of UK startups and their customers, slowing economic growth in the process.

“We need to massively reset our ambition to speed up approval times, and we support all efforts to deliver on that promise.”

‘Supporting the next 10 DeepMinds’

Kyle said that Keir Starmer’s Labour Party wants to make AI “work for everyone” and address public concerns over its potential impact on the jobs market.

Kyle, who was appointed as Michelle Donelan’s opposite in a Labour reshuffle last September, said Labour’s approach would aim to boost productivity with AI and support future startups.

“That means putting everyday AI in the hands of small business owners, as well as supporting the next 10 DeepMinds to start up and scale up here within the UK,” he said.

UKTN understands that Labour could publish its AI strategy in the coming weeks.

“This strategy will look at the deployment and the uptake of AI technology in the public and private sectors,” said Kyle. “The Labour Party sees building public trust as essential to wider adoption of AI.”

The MP for Hove and Portslade also called for greater transparency from the government about how it uses AI.

The shadow cabinet member said Labour has been “looking closely” at a review by Lord David Willetts into how to streamline business case approvals at DSIT.

“It is remarkable to hear that it can take over two and a half years to execute an R&D programme in DSIT currently,” said Kyle.

“A Labour government will significantly shorten this time, because for us, making DSIT work is going to be crucial to delivering our missions across government.”

Kyle also reiterated Labour’s commitment to offer 10-year R&D funding settlements.

Kyle’s speech comes as Labour continues to court business leaders and seek public endorsements from tech executives. A survey published today found that three-quarters of tech leaders believe a Labour government would have a positive impact on UK innovation.