The Cabinet Office published its Generative AI Framework for HMG (the Framework) in January 2024, aimed at helping civil servants and people working in government organisations understand generative AI and how to use it safely and responsibly.  

The Framework is based on a set of ten principles and is stated to be “necessarily incomplete and dynamic”, reflecting the rapidly developing field of generative AI and current lack of best practice, with plans to update it frequently as more is learned from the experience of using generative AI across government, industry and society. 

Although aimed at people working in government, it’s a comprehensive and useful resource for anyone building, using, buying or indeed selling generative AI products. 

It contains useful, easy-to-read information about generative AI, including: 

  • its applications and limitations 
  • its ethical, data security, privacy, intellectual property and legal compliance risks 
  • the need for human review of generative AI tools’ outputs and decision making 
  • the need for transparency and explainability  
  • the importance of engaging with stakeholders early in any generative AI-based project 

and links to other useful government resources, including: 

How is it useful?

The ‘Building generative AI solutions’ section is useful for anyone building AI products, whether for sale or in-house use.  The Framework can probably be viewed as best practice guidance for developing and using generative AI. 

The Framework is also a useful resource for providers of generative AI tools and services hoping to sell to government departments, as the Framework’s expectations concerning responsible and ethical use of generative AI apply to AI systems procured from third parties.  

The ‘Buying generative AI’ section will be particularly relevant to generative AI providers.  It addresses routes to market, specifications and running procurements and links to applicable frameworks and guidance such as: 

The Framework may also serve as a useful resource for companies and organisations looking to implement an AI governance strategy, create an AI use/procurement policy or update its risk assessments. 

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