About the Summit
On 9-10 December 2020 techUK and partners brought together academics, philosophers, lawyers, technology experts, policy makers and other key stakeholders at techUK’s fourth annual Digital Ethics Summit. During the virtual Summit we took stock and reflected on developments during 2020 and examined, as this field matures, how much progress has been made against solving some of the most complex digital ethical challenges faced by society.
In 2020 the world has experienced unprecedented levels of global change and disruption as we adapted and responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of this global health crisis, data and advanced digital technologies have played a central role to how we respond and adapt to the virus. As a result, ethical principles such as trust, transparency, agency, accountability, and privacy have been put to the test on a global stage.
Through a series of keynote presentations and panel breakout sessions the Summit reflected on the significant challenges we faced in 2020 and discussed the role and impact of the digital ethics debate. The Summit examined what we can learn from what has happened, including identifying best practice examples of how companies have adapted to the pandemic, discussed where digital ethics has been a help or a hinderance, and asked how we can build a digitally-enabled economic and societal future that is ethical, responsible and inclusive to all of society.
The rapid acceleration in digital transformation and adoption of advanced digital technologies has already raised questions about whether the benefits of digital transformation are being felt equally by everyone in society or whether the pandemic is exacerbating a digital divide that already existed within society. At the same time, we have witnessed a seismic shift in the conversation about systemic racism and discrimination due to events in the US and here in the UK.
During the Summit speakers discussed the serious ethical issues of fairness and collective responsibility associated with tackling our global climate emergency, in order to ensure our post-COVID recovery is right for society and the planet.
None of these issues are UK-specific and to find the right solutions we must learn from international approaches to the ethics discussion in 2020 to form a coordinated, global response. The next decade will be defined by how we respond to the economic, social and environmental challenges we face today and the way in which digital technologies are adopted and used as we move forward into an unknown future.
- Welcome - Day 1
- Keynote Address - Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP, Minister of State for Media and Data, Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport
- Keynote Address - Elizabeth Denham, UK Information Commissioner, Information Commissioner's Office
- Lessons to be learnt from 2020
- Fairness and equality - Data and technology and the fight against systemic discrimination
- Reflections on data privacy and governance in 2020
- Data sharing and data quality - Getting this right going forward
- Headline Sponsor Keynote - Natasha Crampton, Chief Responsible AI Officer, Microsoft
- Democracy in the age of AI