September 14, 2023

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    Kim Simmonds, was interviewed by the BBC on their evening news show, The Context. The topic was the need for responsible AI, during a week when tech giants gathered on Capitol Hill in Washington DC to discuss the future of the industry.

    Kim is uniquely qualified for this discussion - speaking as a lawyer (qualified in both the UK and the USA), as the Founder and CEO of Law 365 (a law firm that specialises in tech) and as the Founder and CEO of a new platform, Cloud Contracts 365, that use AI and her team's legal experience to create, review and manage contracts.

    Watch the video below or read on for our summary and transcript.

    Source: © copyright 2023 BBC

    It's rare that business leaders call for more regulation by Government. But unusually this is exactly what many tech leaders did earlier this year.  

    During the interview, Kim Simmonds expresses the importance of the closed-door meeting between tech leaders and policymakers, emphasizing that it provides a crucial platform for discussing how to support innovation while ensuring the responsible use of AI through policies and regulations.

    UK AI Safety Summit

    Regarding the World Summit on AI called by Rishi Sunak in November, Kim Simmonds believes that the outcomes of the current meeting set the stage for discussions among governments worldwide, anticipating collaboration between countries.

    Cloud Contracts 365

    Kim also discusses the potential impact of regulations on Cloud Contracts 365, a SaaS product developed by Law 365 that allows Microsoft Partners to quickly create, review, and manage contracts their contracts for as little as £3.50 per day. While the specific outcomes remain uncertain she is confident that her AI and machine learning product is ahead of the curve with upcoming regulations.

    Find out more

    Agency oversight

    Regarding the idea of establishing a single agency to oversee AI technology and issue licenses on an individual basis, Kim expresses reservations, suggesting that having multiple agencies with checks and balances might be a more effective approach.

    Global cooperation

    Finally, Kim Simmonds emphasises the importance of including China in the conversation about AI regulation, given the global nature of the internet and technology. She stresses that regulation is critical in democratic societies, to address security and human rights concerns.

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    Interview transcript

    Christian Fraser

    The titans of big tech are on Capitol Hill today to talk artificial intelligence. It's the first meeting of its kind in which the senators will hear from the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, you can see there Bill Gates and Sam Altman, among others. They're brainstorming, the lawmakers evermore conscious they're falling behind in their efforts to regulate this fast moving technology. Cameras were allowed in before the meeting. But were not privy to the conversation, a move that was opposed by Senator Elizabeth Warren, "These tech billionaires want to lobby Congress behind closed doors with no questions asked" she said, "that is plain wrong". Let's hear then from Kim Simmonds. She's a lawyer, AI and tech specialist. Kim, good to see you. Is Elizabeth Warren right? Shouldn't we hear open debate about the threats and opportunities from AI?

    Well, I think there's a few things here. I mean, the meeting provides, at the moment, an essential platform for tech leaders and policy makers to come together. It's critical that they are engaging to ascertain exactly how to support innovation, whilst protecting the use of AI through policies and regulation. It is a closed meeting for now, but I think the key components need to be talked about with these tech leaders and policy makers in a closed forum for now.

    Kim Simmonds
    Christian Fraser

    The Prime Minister here is calling a World Summit on this in November. Do you see what's happening today as part of that conversation? Do you think governments are going to swap ideas, help each other, or are they moving into their own spheres and one government wants to get ahead of another?

    Yeah, it's an interesting one, because I do think whatever comes out of this particular meeting is going to, I think start leading the way for a lot of the other countries and certainly for the UK, we do tend to follow suit. So it will be really interesting to see how the conversations materialise and lots of the other countries coming around.

    Kim Simmonds
    Christian Fraser

    Is this not a danger, though, given that these are mostly on the whole American tech giants that their policy and their regulation lends itself to those companies, perhaps it would be stiffer regulation, if it was here in Europe?

    Well, in terms of whether it's stiffer or not, I think the importance is that AI tends to be more global than it is in one particular country. And this is something we have to remember, technology transgresses all of these sort of boundaries there. So you know, I think that America do have a lead position with AI businesses, they are going to have a vested interest in that. But you know, ultimately, you know, we are going to be catching up, this is going to be impacting the importance of AI businesses globally. So it is something to bear in mind.

    Kim Simmonds
    Christian Fraser

    Do you watch this from a personal perspective? I mean, could this impact you. Because I know you're a qualified lawyer, you advise the tech industry, I think you've also developed a legal services business using AI technology. If regulation is retrospective, could it damage your interests?

    Yeah, so my business Law 365 is a law firm, and that's developed a self serve AI platform for tech businesses to create their own contracts, review their contracts, issues, manage the contract process. So it's an all in one self serve platform. It's called Cloud Contracts 365. Now, this will impact obviously, that the UK regulations, it will impact AI businesses such as my own, I, you know, believe that, you know, hopefully the AI and machine learning product that we are deploying is ahead of curve with all the regulations, but we don't know yet what's going to come out of all of this.

    Kim Simmonds
    Christian Fraser

    Yeah, one of the ideas that I did see which which caught my interest was that they want to in America set up a committee that would oversee all of the AI technology and give licences on an individual basis. Does that sound like a decent idea to you, a step forward?

    I think there is danger sometimes of having one single agency be the sort of the point of contact for this kind of stuff. I mean, you know, if that agency has a particular viewpoint, and it hasn't got the checks and balances, it probably needs having several different agencies being able to deploy this. So it's really it's going to be an interesting next few months I think.

    Kim Simmonds
    Christian Fraser

    We exist on a world wide web. If China isn't part of this conversation, what's the point in having regulation in the West when they're doing their own thing that might be contrary to that regulation?

    Yeah, so I mean, having regulation is critical, right, when we're doing anything that requires input from a human being requires a human reliance on things, you know, when you're looking at security issues when you're looking at things like human rights we absolutely need regulation. This isn't something that we should just be tampering with and just hoping for the best and fingers crossed. So, we're the West, we're a democratic society, and we need to adhere to those principles quite carefully.

    Kim Simmonds
    Christian Fraser

    Kim Simmonds, good to talk to you. Thank you very much indeed for that. All 100 senators sitting in on that conversation today with Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg and the others.

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