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How can we improve the UK’s robotics and artificial intelligence policy?

The Science and Technology Committee is asking for contributions to inform an inquiry into robotics and artificial intelligence. The committee is particularly interested in: 
  • the impact of robotics and artificial intelligence on the future UK workforce and job market, the Government’s preparation for the shift in the UK skills base and training that this may require.
  • the extent to which social and economic opportunities provided by emerging autonomous systems and artificial intelligence technologies are being exploited to deliver benefits to the UK. 
  • the extent to which the funding, research and innovation landscape facilitates the UK maintaining a position at the forefront of these technologies, and what measures the Government should take to assist further in these areas.
  • the social, legal and ethical issues raised by developments in robotics and artificial intelligence technologies, and how they should be addressed.
Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) is one of the 'Eight Great Technologies' identified by the UK Government in 2012. A national strategy for RAS innovation by the RAS Special Interest Group was published by Innovate UK in 2014.
The Government responded to that strategy in March 2015 (PDF 405 KB) and agreed to establish a RAS Leadership Council to oversee its execution. The RAS Special Interest Group also published 'The UK Landscape for Robotics and Autonomous Systems' in 2015 and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council launched an UK-RAS network, also in 2015.
"Robots are now beating humans at even the most complex games, like Go,” said Nicola Blackwood MP, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee. “Artificial intelligence (AI) will play an increasing role in our lives over the coming years. From navigation systems to medical treatments and from new manufacturing techniques to unmanned vehicles, new applications are rapidly being developed that involve robotic decision making.
It is important that the UK is ready with the research, innovation and skills to be able to fully take advantage of the opportunities and manage any risks. The global market for the AI sector is expected to grow to $2-6 trillion by 2025.”
The deadline to for written submissions is Friday 29 April 2016
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