press release
Published: 28 April 2023

Surrey hosts House of Commons Science, Innovation and Technology Committee visit

Ensuring AI remains people-centred and that regulation keeps pace with the blistering speed at which technologies are developing was the focus of a visit to the University of Surrey by the Chair of the House of Commons Science, Innovation and Technology Committee, Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, on Thursday 27th April.  

The visit, which took in our Institute for People-Centred Artificial Intelligence and 5G/6G Innovation Centre, was also joined by Committee members Stephen Metcalfe MP, who is also Chair of the AI All-Party Parliamentary Group, and Aaron Bell MP.

Over the course of the day, the MPs were given a series of demonstrations highlighting practical applications of AI and research that is shaping the future development of 5G and 6G technology.

A panel of experts from Surrey's Institute for People-Centred AI recently participated in a roundtable discussion on the governance of AI. This is a topic that the Select Committee is currently conducting an inquiry into. The panel comprised Professor Adrian Hilton (Director of the Institute), Dr Andrew Rogoyski (Director of Innovation and Partnerships), Professor Sabine Braun (Professor of Translation Studies and Co-Director at the Institute), Prof. Ryan Abbott (Professor of Law and Health Sciences and author of The Reasonable Robot: Artificial Intelligence and the Law), Prof. Bonnie Buchanan (Head of Department of Finance and Accounting, Professor of Finance) and Mikolaj Firlej (Lecturer in AI Law and Regulation at the Centre for Translation Studies).

A wide-ranging discussion focused on core issues related to the regulation of AI, in particular the ‘explainability’ of AI’s role in decision-making, the need for a proportionate approach to regulation that is both pro-innovation and people-centred, and how large AI models are validated. The discussions formed part of the Committee’s inquiry into AI Governance and build on Surrey’s response to the call for evidence. In due course, the Committee will produce a report with recommendations for the government who are bringing forward policies to regulate AI, as recently outlined in its AI white paper.  

The MPs visited the 5G/6G Innovation Centre and met with Regius Professor Rahim Tafazolli, who is the Founder and Director of the Centre, as well as the Professor of Mobile and Satellite Communications, and Stephen Temple, a Visiting Professor at the Centre. During their visit, the MPs were shown a series of technical demonstrations and were given an overview of Surrey's leadership in the TUDOR project, which is funded by the UK government. The project aims to research and develop technologies that can be used in a more open, flexible, and scalable future mobile network beyond 5G and 6G.