This year, techUK’s AI Week explored the steps the UK needs to take to become AI ready. Throughout the week, members and stakeholders gave their views on key issues that need to be addressed, including how to drive adoption and take up of AI, cyber security risks and concerns, the impact of AI on jobs and the ethical questions being raised by AI.
What was clear from the input we received is that the UK already has an impressive track record on AI. But we must keep pace as the scale of innovation continues to accelerate. We need to ensure that the UK stays at the forefront in the development and application of these powerful new technologies. The Government’s recently announced AI Sector Deal, which includes the establishment of a Government Office for AI, provides a clear blueprint for how the UK can become a world-leader in innovative, responsible and ethical AI. The sector deal focuses on the key issues of maintaining leadership and driving uptake and building the skills pipeline, as well as the importance of addressing the ethical issues raised by AI.
A key issue we explored during the week was the importance of digital ethics, which techUK sees as an essential complement to AI innovation. By building a world-leading framework for digital governance the UK can be at the forefront of responsible and ethical AI innovation. We have welcomed the creation of the Ada Lovelace Institute by the Nuffield Foundation and the UK Government’s Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation. The creation of these bodies sends a very clear message that the UK is taking a leadership position in moving on from just talking about ethics and putting in place the capacity and capabilities needed to take practical action. The progress that has been made over the last twelve months, and perhaps what more may still need to be done in this vital area, will be a key issue discussed at techUK’s second Digital Ethics Summit on 12 December 2018.
Between now and then techUK is working with members to ensure citizens and organisations across all sectors and industries feel ready and able to take advantage of AI technologies, both now and in the future. Through briefing sessions, roundtable meetings and events, techUK is raising greater awareness and understanding of the opportunities offered through the adoption, deployment and application of AI technologies in different sectors, as well as discussing with members how to create the right environment for AI companies to thrive and grow.
If you would like to get involved in helping techUK in our mission to ensure the UK can fully realise the economic, social value and benefits of AI and get more involved in our AI activities - including our AI Leaders Campaign which was launched during AI week - please do get in touch. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy reading these insights.