The Alan Turing Institute Fellows appointed to the board of the world’s first Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation

  • Board chaired by Roger Taylor includes experts from academia and industry such as Lord (Robert) Winston, world renowned expert in fertility and genetics
  • The Alan Turing Institute is proud to announce two of its Fellows, Luciano Floridi (Chair of Data Ethics Group) and Adrian Weller (Programme Director for AI), have been appointed to the board 
  • Confirmation of early projects the centre will lead to support and enable ethical, safe and innovative uses of data and AI

LONDON, 23-Nov-2018 — /EuropaWire/ — In a major coup to cement the UK’s position as a world-leader in the development of artificial intelligence, the Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright will today confirm the expert advisers appointed to shape the work of the world’s first Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation.

The Centre is chaired by the founder of healthcare data firm Dr Foster, Roger Taylor.  It has been established to make sure the UK is leading the debate on how data-driven technologies are used for the maximum benefit of society.

It will analyse and anticipate gaps in the governance landscape, agree and set out best practice to guide ethical and innovative uses of data, and advise government on the need for specific policy or regulatory action. This will help make sure new technologies and data are used responsibly so they support the country’s businesses and society.  

The Government has also today published its response to the consultation on the role and objectives of the Centre. There was strong support from respondents and its first projects will explore the use of data in shaping people’s online experiences. It will also investigate the potential for bias in decisions made using algorithms.

Announced in the Industrial Strategy and highlighted in the £1 billion AI Sector Deal, the Centre is a further step forward in realising the full potential of artificial intelligence in the UK. Estimates suggest it could be worth as much as £232bn to the UK economy by 2030.

Ahead of a speech at the Open Data Institute’s annual summit, Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright said:

“We are a world-leader in artificial intelligence and our modern Industrial Strategy puts pioneering technologies at the heart of our plans to build a Britain which is fit for the future.

“But it is crucial that the public have confidence it is being used to improve people’s lives and we have the right expertise and framework in place to maximise its potential.

“I am pleased we have secured global leaders from academia and industry to work alongside us as we develop the world’s first Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation.”

Roger Taylor, Chair of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, said:

I am excited to have such a high calibre Board in place to lead the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation. It is vital powerful data-driven technologies such as artificial intelligence are deployed in the interests of society while supporting innovation.

I look forward to working closely with my new board members to develop our work-plan and prioritising the issues we need to consider.”

From trust to practical and legal obstacles, organisations looking to access or share data can often face a range of barriers. To help solve this issue, Jeremy Wright will also confirm the Government’s Office for AI – a joint unit between DCMS and BEIS – will now work with the Open Data Institute to explore the future potential of data trusts quicker and more efficiently.

A data trust will allow two or more organisations to share data in a safe, fair and ethical way so they can work together to tackle problems such as recycling, food waste or speeding up construction projects. This may be a local council sharing data on food recycling with a start-up firm, for example.

In a separate stand of work, the Government is working with the Competition and Markets Authority to clampdown on the practice of retailers targeting online shoppers and charging people different prices for the same items, such as holidays, cars and household goods.

The research, using anonymised customer data, will explore whether and how personalised pricing exploits personal data points such as a consumer’s address, marital status, birthday and travel history for unwanted targeting.

The Government is also establishing an AI Council, chaired by Cognition X’s Tabitha Goldstaub, to oversee implementation of its AI Sector Deal, promote industry-to-industry cooperation in the field, boost the understanding of AI in the business world, and identify barriers to growth and innovation.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

“Artificial Intelligence has rapidly become a part of everyday life – whether you use online banking, apps to hail a cab or for your weekly online shop.

“Given the pace with which the industry is evolving, we must ensure that it continues to be used as a force for good, especially where it involves personal data. That is why I announced the establishment of the world’s first Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation as part of our modern Industrial Strategy. I’m pleased that such esteemed individuals, leaders in their fields, will be taking forward this important work.”

Conclusion

Notes to editors

Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright has appointed the following individuals as the board for the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation:

  • Edwina Dunn, CEO of StarCount; founder and former CEO of Dunnhumby. Founder of the Female Lead 
  • Professor Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at Oxford University. Director of the Digital Ethics Lab, Oxford Internet InstituteChair of The Alan Turing Institute’s Data Ethics Group.
  • Dame Patricia Hodgson, former Chair of Ofcom, Non-Executive Member of the Competition Commission
  • Dr Susan Liautaud, Public Policy School at Stanford University; Vice-Chair of Court of Governors, LSE; Founder of the Ethics Incubator
  • Baroness (Kate) Rock, Member of the House of Lords Select Committee on AI; Non Executive Director of Keller Group plc
  • Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford; Member of the Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence
  • Richard Sargeant, Chief Commercial Officer, ASI Data Science. Co-founder of Engineers Without Borders UK
  • Kriti Sharma, VP Artificial Intelligence at Sage Group; Forbes 30 Under 30 in Technology (2017); United Nations Young Leader in 2018
  • Dame Glenys Stacey (appointment March 2019), Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Probation. Chair, Farm Inspection and Regulation Review, former CEO of Ofqual
  • Dr Adrian Weller, Senior Fellow in Machine Learning Cambridge University, Programme Director for AI at The Alan Turing Institute
  • Professor Lord (Robert) Winston, Professor of Science and Society at Imperial College London. Chairman of the Genesis Research Trust.

The Board was appointed through a fair and open competition run by the department during the summer. The appointment term is for two years from 26 November 2018.  

Dame Glenys Stacey will be starting her term in February 2019.

The Office for AI is based in central government and responsible for overseeing implementation of the UK’s AI strategy, policy and strategy.

The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation is being set up as an independent adviser to Government to make sure the country has a governance regime which fully supports ethical and innovative uses of technology. It will deliver its work through extensive engagement with industry, regulators, civil society and the public.

The AI Council, chaired by Cognition X’s Tabitha Goldstaub, will oversee implementation of its AI Sector Deal, promote industry-to-industry cooperation in the field, boost the understanding of AI in the business world, and identify barriers to growth and innovation.

The Alan Turing Institute has partnered with Nuffield Foundation on the Ada Lovelace Institute, which launched in2018 to examine the profound ethical and social issues arising from the use of data, algorithms and artificial intelligence, and to ensure they are harnessed for social well-being. Sir Alan Wilson (Director, Special Projects of The Alan Turing Institute) is Executive Chair of The Ada Lovelace Institute. On the topic of data trusts, the Turing blog ‘Can data trusts be the backbone of our future AI ecosystem?’ provides information on a recent workshop held at the Turing on the ethics of data sharing.

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SOURCE: The Alan Turing Institute

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