Professionalising the AI Industry: To Control Technology, We Should Regulate Humans

20 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2024

Date Written: December 6, 2023


Maximising the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) whilst minimising its risks has become one of the world’s greatest challenges, and will likely remain so in the coming decades. In this paper, ‘professionalisation’ is proposed as a crucial – but, to date, largely missing – part of the regulatory response. Most proposals for the governance of AI have focussed on ‘top down’ approaches, with requirements placed on the organisations providing AI systems. Professionalisation can operate as an additional ‘bottom up’ method of regulation, instilling a sense of shared values in the individuals creating and designing the systems. This paper suggests that individuals who develop and/or deploy AI systems, either partly or solely in the course of business, should undertake harmonised training and certification, and then be required to adhere to a minimum set of standards throughout their professional careers. Professionalisation can serve as an important implementation mechanism for the principles of AI development, on which there is growing global consensus. While all jurisdictions could incorporate professionalisation into their regulatory response to AI, this paper identifies the UK as being particularly well placed to lead the way and sets out how it can do so.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence; professionalisation; AI ethics; regulation

Suggested Citation

Turner, Jacob and Goodman, Tristan, Professionalising the AI Industry: To Control Technology, We Should Regulate Humans (December 6, 2023). Available at SSRN: or

Jacob Turner

Fountain Court Chambers

Fountain Court
London, EC4Y 9DH
United Kingdom

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