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techUK's evidence to Defence Select Committee inquiry into AI

Evidence submitted to the Commons’ Defence Select Committee inquiry on AI capacity and expertise in UK Defence.

In January 2024, the techUK defence programme submitted written evidence to the House of Commons’ Defence Select Committee inquiry, Developing AI capacity and expertise in UK Defence.

Based on contributions from a range of techUK members including Primes and SMEs, the submission looked at how the UK Government can best develop capacity and expertise within the engineering and software industries to deliver AI applications for defence, how to embed UK companies in domestic and international defence supply chains, and what the Government can do to champion UK industry in the context of Pillar 2 of the AUKUS Partnership.

Members highlighted four areas where the Government can act:

Funding – focusing investment on frontline capabilities with specific defence applications that are unlikely to be replicated in the private sector, where commercial AI solutions offer better value for the taxpayer.

Workforce Capacity – promoting professional development and mechanisms allowing individuals to work within the MOD through secondments, job-swaps, and being embedded within projects throughout the course of their careers.

Data – given the levels of military specific context required, unlocking defence datasets from exercises and operations to allow new AI capabilities to be tailored more effectively to the military domain.

Standards – look at standardisation across assurance and technical evaluation processes, including safety and security protocols, ethics framework compliance and simplifying and streamlining processes where possible. A UK AI Reference Architecture is also necessary to provide a common lexicon and maturity model.

To read the full evidence, please click here.

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