Minister Calls for Mandatory Registration of AI Usage in Scotland’s Public Sector

hands typing on laptop with hologram of ai chatbox

IN a pioneering move, Scotland is set to enforce mandatory registration for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology within its public sector, announced a government minister.

Innovation Minister Richard Lochhead emphasized the importance of transparency and responsibility in employing AI, stating that the measure aims to instill public confidence in its usage.

Lochhead asserted, “Scotland is perfectly placed to capitalize on the rapid growth of AI – but it must be used in a way that is open, ethical, and transparent.”

He highlighted the diverse applications of AI, from cancer diagnostics to aiding in the journey towards net zero emissions, underlining its potential to drive efficiency and deliver societal solutions.

The mandatory registration will necessitate public bodies to log their AI projects onto the Scottish AI Register, a publicly accessible database. Currently voluntary, the register will transition into a mandatory requirement, starting with Scottish Government departments before extending to the broader public sector.

AI’s integration into public services is already underway. Projects like Mia, an AI-powered breast cancer diagnostic tool piloted in NHS Grampian, underscore its potential impact.

Gerald Lip, clinical director at NHS Grampian, emphasized the importance of efficient and safe AI usage, particularly in healthcare, where public funding is involved.

Neil Hunter, Principal Reporter/Chief Executive of Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration, highlighted the significance of openness and access to expertise in AI exploration within sensitive service delivery sectors.

Jora Gill, CEO and co-founder of ConnectingYouNow, expressed support for the AI Register, emphasizing transparency and collaboration in advancing responsible AI adoption for public benefit.

The move signifies Scotland’s commitment to harnessing AI’s potential while prioritizing ethics, transparency, and public trust in its deployment across the public sector.

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