Written Evidence Submitted by Mr Michael Scott, Chair of Trustees, Home-Start Nottingham



There is one particular aspect of this issue that I would like to comment on: the increasing use of AI to make decisions on matters of major importance to the public.


There has been a gradual and little-publicised increase in the number and range of decisions made via AI over the past few years and this is in my view very much against the public interest. “Computer says no” type decisions are frequently presented as being neutral and objective, but this is certainly not the case.


There is ample evidence that software contains both accidental and deliberate bias, which often reflects the bias – unconscious or otherwise – of the person who designed it. Such bias is likely to discriminate predominantly against poor people and those from BAME backgrounds.


It has been suggested that in future, not only should more decisions in areas such as benefits and housing be made in this way, but that current rights of appeal to an actual human being should be curtailed or stopped entirely. This is absolutely unacceptable and must not happen.


It may well be that using AI in decision-making is a cheaper option, but that cannot be a reason for the process to become even more unfair than at present – judging by the proportion of successful appeals.


I ask that my view be taken into consideration in the consultation.



(October 2022)