In a recent interview with the BBC, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey expressed confidence that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will not be a “mass destroyer of jobs” and emphasised the potential for human workers to adapt to and collaborate with new technologies.

Governor Bailey acknowledged the existing risks associated with AI but highlighted the significant potential it holds.

“I’m an economic historian, before I became a central banker. Economies adapt, jobs adapt, and we learn to work with it. And I think, you get a better result by people with machines than with machines on their own. So, I’m an optimist,” he stated.

According to the Bank of England’s latest assessment of the UK economy, businesses anticipate realising productivity benefits from AI investments in the near future. Nearly one-third of surveyed businesses reported making significant AI investments in the past year.

The report indicated that automation and AI investments were already impacting the job market by “containing recruitment and labour costs” in a tight labour market.

Positive aspects vs. risks

Governor Bailey’s comments align with a recent report from the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee, chaired by Baroness Stowell. The committee emphasised the need to focus on the positive aspects of AI rather than being solely preoccupied with its risks.

Baroness Stowell warned against allowing “existential risks and sci-fi scenarios” to overshadow the potential benefits of AI. The committee’s report urged the country not to miss out on the “AI goldrush,” cautioning against exaggerated concerns about AI dangers.

The committee’s report specifically delved into large language models (LLMs), such as those powering generative AI tools like ChatGPT. While recognising the concerns raised by industry figures, the report dismissed some of the “apocalyptic” warnings about the dangers of AI as exaggerated.

Addressing concerns over red tape hindering AI development, the committee urged the UK not to become overly restrictive, emphasising the importance of being part of the technological vanguard.

What about copyright issues?

The report also spotlighted copyright issues related to AI, particularly concerning LLMs. The committee called on the government to provide clarity on applicable rules, asserting that it cannot “sit on its hands” while developers potentially exploit the works of rightsholders.

Baroness Stowell stressed the importance of the UK government’s proactive role in AI development. “No expert on safety is going to be credible if we are not at the same time developers and part of the real vanguard of promoting and creating the progress on this technology,” she said.

The Lords Communications and Digital Committee’s report also highlighted the need for clarity on copyright issues. Getty Images is currently taking legal action against Stability AI, alleging unauthorised use of images to train AI tools.

Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology Michelle Donelan is expected to provide evidence to the Lords Committee on the government’s reaction to the report. The government, however, asserted its commitment to AI research and development, emphasising safety research through the AI Safety Institute and a pro-innovation approach to AI regulation.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.