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Artificial Intelligence: China

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL4783, tabled on 8 December 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the China State Council's A Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan, published on 20 July 2017, in permitting the export of Artificial Intelligence driven devices to the UK.

Answered on

20 December 2021

HM Government has a comprehensive set of artificial intelligence policies, including our recent National AI Strategy. This strategy will ensure that the UK’s AI ecosystem continues to flourish, so that the UK has the continued domestic capability to be a world leader in AI across all sectors.

In the development of our own approach to sectors and technologies, we keep abreast of other international plans and strategies for artificial intelligence, and their implications for the UK. We are committed to getting the national and international governance of AI technologies right in order to encourage innovation and investment, and to protect the public and our fundamental values. Given the UK’s strength in AI research, innovation, and governance, we are in a position to make a unique and important contribution to the development of global standards for AI, and to lead thinking in this arena.

We are familiar with China’s Artificial Intelligence Development Plan, issued in 2017, but recognise that it does not in isolation represent the entirety of China’s AI strategy. We note that China last year imposed its own export restrictions on its domestically generated AI technology. On 8 December 2021 the Secretary of State for International Trade informed Parliament in a written statement about a package of measures to update the export control regime. The recent review concluded that there were anomalies and inconsistencies within the UK's export control regime, and, as a result, China has been added to the list of those destinations subject to military end-use controls. The updated licensing criteria for strategic export controls apply to all goods, software, and technology which are subject to control for strategic reasons.