04 Mar 2024

MTC’s CTO urges robust governance to navigate AI challenges and risks

MTC's Ken Young

In a recent comment, Ken Young, Chief Technology Officer at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), emphasised the critical need for governance in addressing the challenges and risks associated with Artificial Intelligence (AI). Young said that as AI continues to evolve, effective regulation and understanding are imperative to both maximise its benefits and protect against potential risks.

Young explained: “We’re currently at the tip of the AI iceberg – what we see and understand today is a small fragment, but under the surface, there’s a vast amount of opportunity and challenges.” Highlighting the importance of governance, he stressed the necessity of a comprehensive approach to ensure the safe and ethical deployment of AI technologies.

The Chief Technology Officer expressed full support for the Prime Minister’s vision of establishing the world’s first AI Safety Institute. This institute, as proposed by the Prime Minister, would focus on examining and mitigating the risks associated with AI technology.

“Adequate governance will allow us to maximise AI’s potential safely, securely, and ethically,” Young continued. He underlined the significance of understanding the data used in AI models and the training processes involved, emphasising the need to make AI more predictable and less susceptible to bias.

Turning the focus to the UK manufacturing sector, Young stressed the importance of education and upskilling initiatives on AI. He believes that stakeholders and the government should concentrate on fostering a deep understanding of AI to fully reap its benefits. Young pointed out that, through the digitalisation of the industry, AI has the potential to revolutionise decision-making, enhance productivity, and improve workplace safety in unprecedented ways.

“With the prospect of smart factories on the horizon, AI can propel the move towards truly sustainable manufacturing,” he concluded, highlighting the transformative potential of AI in shaping the future of the manufacturing industry.