PROPOSALS for the SNP to discuss stricter regulation of artificial intelligence are being brought forward, with concerns the UK is "lagging behind" Europe in laws to deal with threat of new technologies.

Toni Giugliano, the SNP's policy development convener, is planning a conference resolution to debate how to address issues around artificial intelligence (AI) and act before it “gets out of control”.

His comments come as the European Parliament passed draft legislation on Wednesday on what will be one of the first global laws dealing with the regulation of AI.

The AI Act, which will not be passed in final version until later this year, aims to curb the technologies riskiest uses such as facial recognition software.

READ MORE: Paul McCartney: AI used to create 'last Beatles record'

Giugliano said: "AI can help our societies - from finding new cures to diseases to sourcing new solutions to tackle climate change.

"But in order reap the rewards of AI we need to be fully conscious of how far it can go - and act quickly before it gets out of control.

"The challenge is to balance the protection of rights and safety with the need to stimulate growth and innovation. The only way to do that is for governments to work together and introduce regulation at a supranational level.

"AI systems' ability to fuel disinformation and compromise election campaigns is a serious risk to our democracies.

“We need AI to be human-centric, trustworthy and above all safe.”

Earlier this week Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Britain could be the “home of global AI safety regulation”, with a summit on the risks and regulations of AI planned for later this year.

In March the UK Government published a white paper on AI, but it focused on the opportunities the technology could bring, rather than how to regulate it.

READ MORE: Hundreds attend AI church service in Germany

Since then rapid rise of AI such as ChatGPT has triggered a rethink over how to deal with the fast-moving technology. 

A report co-authored by Tony Blair and William Hague this week warned AI could represent the most substantial policy challenge ever faced by the UK.

Labour have been discussing the issue, with leader Sir Keir Starmer saying there is a need to “fast-forward on the regulation side.”

However the party’s digital spokesperson Lucy Powell previously argued for a focus on regulating the way AI is developed, rather than banning certain technologies.

The National:

Giugliano said the EU was “setting the agenda globally” while the UK is “playing catch-up”.

He added: "It's disappointing that Labour's Lucy Powell is suggesting the UK should not follow the EU's footsteps in banning certain technologies. Regulation and licensing is most likely the answer, but there can't be a place for AI technologies that compromise safety.

"The UK Government must act now - mirror the EU's lead - and get round the table with similar minded countries across the world.

"AI should empower workers and human decision making, strengthening human potential - not act as a substitute or give greater power away to tech giants seeking to build ever larger global empires.”