The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) has today (29 March 2023) published its white paper, AI regulation: a pro innovation approach. The white paper sets out the government’s proposals for implementing a proportionate, future-proof, and pro-innovation framework for regulating AI and reflects some recommendations made in the recent Sir Patrick Vallance review of digital technologies regulation, including on sandboxing and foundation models.

The white paper is the latest in a series of government publications on AI, following the National AI Strategy in September 2021 and a July 2022 AI Policy Paper. This publication is a welcome development in securing the UK’s place as a top country in the world to develop and utilise AI technologies, which is increasingly prevalent across ADS’s four sectors.

Regulatory approach

The white paper sets out five key principles for AI regulation and three overarching objectives, which are consistent with the OECD’s existing approach:


  1. Safety, security and robustness.
  2. Appropriate transparency and explainability.
  3. Fairness.
  4. Accountability and governance.
  5. Contestability and redress.


  1. Drive growth and prosperity.
  2. Increase public trust in AI.
  3. Strengthen the UK’s position as a global leader in AI.

These principles will not be put on a statutory basis initially but in time it is expected that a statutory duty will be introduced that requires regulators to have due regard for them.

The underpinning approach will be to empower existing regulators to regulate the use of AI, not the technology itself, while promoting coherence across the regulatory landscape through new central functions. The white paper also acknowledges that capability gaps within individual regulators will need to be addressed.

These principles and objectives are broadly consistent with those set out in the National AI Strategy and the AI Policy Paper, and industry will welcome this consistent approach to AI regulation. What is critical is for the UK to strike a balance between regulating AI in a way that protects individuals and society, while also allowing for innovation and the full use of AI to solve a wide range of challenges. The focus on education and awareness support is also crucial to fostering public trust in AI.

Next steps

Following the publication of this white paper, the Government has launched a consultation that launches today and which will run until Tuesday 21 June. As part of ADS’s ongoing engagement with the Government on the implementation of a future-proofed AI regulatory framework we will be making a submission to this, particularly focusing on safety-critical use cases in civil aviation, defence and national security. If you would like to discuss this further please contact