Guest Book Review: Living with the Algorithm, servant or master? - AI governance and policy for the future

This Book Review of “Living with the Algorithm, servant or master? - AI governance and policy for the future”, written and compiled by Tim Clement-Jones, is kindly provided by Katfriend Victoria Dipla (Greek Lawyer, IGNITE Trainee Solicitor Clifford and Chance LLP London). Here is what Victoria has to say: 

This is a review of “Living with the Algorithm, servant or master? - AI governance and policy for the future”, written and compiled by Tim Clement-Jones with the assistance of Conan Darling. The author was Chair of the House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence (2017-2018) and the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the All-Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence. He has been assisted by Coran Darling, an international practitioner focused on technology, law, AI, and data analytics.

The book examines the key questions and issues arising from the rapid development of AI as a technology and its intention is to map the international approaches to AI governance. It takes a deep dive into the material risks, threats, but also the opportunities created by AI, and seeks out to present and suggest a regulatory framework on how society can best intervene and regulate the technology before it is too late (before it no longer is our servant but our master).

In the preface, the author expresses his optimistic approach regarding the options at hand for organizations and governments, given the lessons learned globally by regulating other technologies. Later on, in the introduction and chapter 1 of the book, the author self-identifies as a “cautious optimist” believing in the potential of AI to bring about numerous societal benefits. However, in the following chapters, particularly chapter 8 he emphasizes the need for regulation specifically for AI, not as a hindrance to innovation, but as a way to increase public trust and establish a trustworthy AI, in light of the many risks emerging from its development.

The book is divided in 10 chapters, each dedicated to particular and highly topical aspects and questions related to AI. The author touches upon contemporary questions such as AI and ethics, digital literacy in the age of AI, the need for international standards and cooperation to protect consumers and for strengthened competition regulation to protect the market from the few already existing digital gatekeepers of AI. 

One of the critical topics of the book, in my opinion, is the impact of AI on democracy. We live in a world where deep-fakes, misinformation, and digital influence and coercion of the electoral body constitute a threat to modern democratic states. In all this, 2024 is expected to be a record year for elections across the globe, with over 2 billion people called upon to vote. 

In addition, the book touches upon issues concerning the use of AI in the public sector, where semi-automated decision-making in the already expanding adoption of AI by public actors, is depleting the effectiveness of Article 22 of the General Data Protection Regulation (prohibiting a fully automated decision-making with legal or similarly significant implications for individuals). This was one of my personal favorite parts of the book, where the author stresses the need for the UK not only to stay in alignment with the EU, but also to introduce legislation strengthening the reach of the aforementioned article, so that it applies to partly automated processing as well.

Finally, I believe that chapter 5 of the book, “AI and IP Rewarding Human Creativity”, will be particularly rewarding to the scholars and practitioners interested in the intersection of AI and IP law, in the EU,
US and the UK. Given the authors’ expertise in UK legislation, the emphasis is on the uniqueness of the country’s position, as it lacks the European text and data mining exception (Article 4 of the EU Digital Single Market Copyright Directive) available to commercial generative AI providers, which results in a proposition of focusing on a licensing regime being established. As to the questions of originality and creativity that could lead to copyright protection awarded to AI-generated outputs, the author points out again to the protection provided to computer-generated works in the UK, as one of very few jurisdictions that do so, through Article 9 (3) of the UK’s Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act 1988. The author takes a step further by suggesting a “reduction in the term of rights for a work created under 9(3) from 50 to 5 or 10 years and for the person making the arrangements to be treated as the operator… not the owner of the AI system”.

This book constitutes an insightful compilation of issues, opportunities, and regulatory approaches to AI across the globe, with an emphasis on the UK. It is a thought-provoking experience for all scholars, practitioners, and specialists in the field of technology and law, with an interest in AI and what the regulatory future may hold. 


Published: January 2024
Format: Hardback, Ebook 
ISBN 978-1-911397-92-2
Imprint Unicorn Publishing Group
Publisher Unicorn
Guest Book Review: Living with the Algorithm, servant or master? - AI governance and policy for the future Guest Book Review: Living with the Algorithm, servant or master? - AI governance and policy for the future Reviewed by Antonios Baris on Wednesday, April 24, 2024 Rating: 5

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