03:15 GMT +315 November 2018
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    UK Gov't Not Ready for Robots, Accused of Ignoring AI

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    The British government is unprepared for the rise of the robots, a committee of MPs has warned, suggesting ministers are blind to the rapid development of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

    "Science fiction is slowly becoming science fact," Tania Mathias, chair of the Science and Technology Committee said.

    "Robotics and AI look destined to play an increasing role in our lives over the coming decades."

    The committee's report urges the government to set up a commission to ensure AI enriches workers' lives in Britain, rather than destroy them.

    "It is too soon to set down sector-wide regulations for this nascent field but it is vital that careful scrutiny of the ethical, legal and societal ramifications of artificially intelligence systems begins now," the report states.

    ​The committee cites concerns that the tech industry, including Amazon, Google and Tesla, are taking the lead on AI in the world, when the government should be.

    "Government leadership in the fields of robotics and AI has been lacking. Some major technology companies — including Google and Amazon — have recently come together to form the partnership on AI."

    The report expresses "disappointment" that the British government has still not published its digital strategy and urges it to "set out its plans for equipping the future workforce with digital skills we need."

    However, Britain's Labour party recently launched an independent investigation into the so-called "fourth industrial revolution."

    Labour Deputy Tom Watson, told the party's annual conference that the inquiry would look at the future of Britain's workforce; an announcement that was branded "ignorant" and "patronizing" by robotics expert and futurologist Ray Hammond. 

    "I understand why they may need to discuss the topic. But they're representing it as some kind of apocalypse," Mr. Hammond told Sputnik in a recent interview.

    Mr. Hammond believes it's more likely that robots will free-up workers to do other jobs — rather than replicate them and take over jobs.

    ​And peers sitting in the House of Lords in Westminster recently got on board the driverless cars industry to collect evidence on how useful autonomous vehicles could be on Britain's roads, rural industries and space exploration.

    Meanwhile, the Science and Technology Committee of MPs remains concerned that the British government is still too reticent when it comes to embracing the robotic revolution.

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    Investigation Launched Into Robots Disguised as Workers by UK Labour Party
    Tags:
    technological revolution, AI, committee, robots, artificial intelligence, technologies, British Labour Party, British Conservative Party, House of Lords, Labour Party, House of Commons, Tom Watson, Great Britain, Britain, United Kingdom, London
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