AI policy for UK as of 2023 is shaped by the National AI Strategy published in 2021 that describes general overview of the measures that UK gov wants to take in the AI space. In 2023, the UK gov followed up with a paper called The AI Regulation: A Pro-Innovation Approach that summarised how the UK will approach the regulation of the AI space.

National AI Strategy

In the former strategy, the government defined three action pillars with the overall vision of “remain an AI and science superpower fit for the next decade”. The three pillars are:

  • Investments in AI infrastructure (visa for attracting skilled AI workers, compute, VC finance)
  • AI applications (sector-specific initiatives to implement AI capabilities, e.g. defense, health)
  • Regulation (mostly accentuating the need for a pro-businsess innovation anticipating later regulation-specific policy document)

The AI Regulation: A Pro-Innovation Approach

The AI Regulation: A Pro-Innovation Approach elaborates on the third point of the strategy. The overall objective for the UK regulators should be to keep business-friendly AI approach. This entails avoiding strict centralization of regulation, and giving more power into the hands o individual industry regulators when defining AI regulation in their respective domains. A potential consequence of creating regulation duplication and conflicting regultion for applications that span multiple industries is considered and it is suggested the central government should provide consistent policy guidance in such cases. To support this regulation approach the document suggests creating industry-specific sandboxes, where businesses can work together with regulators in establishing specific guidelines for novel technologies.

In addition, the document suggested to skip assigning risk levels to entire sectors or technologies (as is more the idea of the EU AI Act), but rather to outcomes of individual AI applications.


There are couple of institutions in the UK that are entrusted with different aspects of AI policy.

  • AI Council is an experts committee tasked with providing industry advise to the government in the matters of AI policy.
  • Office for Articial Intelligence is in charge of delivering AI strategy.
  • AI Standards Hub represents interests of the UK on the international scene. It aims “to increase the UK’s contribution to the development of global AI technical standards, and grow international collaboration with like-minded partners to ensure that global AI standards are shaped by a wide range of experts, aligned with shared values.”
  • Alan Turing Institute is mostly an AI-research focused institute that however provides some policy input.
  • Ada Lovelace Institute is another research institute focused on larger social questions around tech impact.
  • Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation another institute tasked with performing research and policy input on the tasks of digital ethics.