techUK Policy Pulse | Your weekly update on tech and digital policy

I’ve just about calmed down after the excitement of Tuesday night – just in time to start getting nervous about Saturday. In the meantime, here’s a rundown of what’s been happening in the world of tech.

Last week the Government responded to the brilliant Lords AI Select Committee report ‘AI in the UK: Ready, Willing and Able?,’ broadly welcoming their recommendations and reiterating the steps Government has taken to ensure the appropriate entities and initiatives exist to address the possibilities that AI can offer. Our colleague, Katherine Mayes, has read and summarised it here.

On Tuesday, the Exiting the European Union Select Committee published an extensive report on the importance of maintaining UK-EU data flows post-Brexit. The report demonstrates that data flows are part of daily life and there must be a solution in place from the moment the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019. Read our summary here.

Away from Parliament, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport found time between practicing his parkour skills to sit down with Playbook’s Jack Blanchard to discuss everything from AI to Brexit. It was an incredibly engaging event that is well worth a watch. Read our take on the discussion here, particularly on his comments around regulating tech and the idea of a ‘duty of care’. To find out more about the history of this idea, read this from Will Perrin.

On the same topic, ResPublica have launched a new report entitled ‘Technopoly' and what to do about it: Reform, Redress and Regulation,’ looking at how changes to Competition law could improve regulation whilst boosting innovation. This is another significant intervention that will no doubt help inform and shape debate. 

Finally, techUK is very proud to be part of the Tech Against Trafficking global initiative which officially launched this week. The initiative brings together the tech sector, academics and NGOs to look at how technology solutions can be used to fight modern slavery. Already, tech and digital tools have played a large and varied role in fighting this growing crime but more is always possible.

techUK news and events

Next week, techUK is launching a new report, Dealing with Deals. While much of the debate has focused on the opportunities of future deals, the UK is already a party to over 750 existing bilateral and multilateral agreements which will need to be rolled over or renegotiated. This report makes recommendations as to how the UK should go about rolling these deals over post-Brexit, and where some deals might even be improved. To register for the event featuring a panel discussion with Vicky Ford MP, Stephen Timms MP and Tim Durrant (Institute for Government), please follow this link.

Our Annual Dinner is happening on Wednesday 11 July, the same day that England will be playing in the World Cup Semi-Final (should they reach that stage - which they will, because football is coming home). Not to worry though, we’ll have screens showing the game, making it the best viewing party in town.

techUK was at the UK-France Digital Colloque in Paris yesterday with Matt Hancock for a busy day of collaboration and exploration on important digital issues affecting our respective tech sectors.

Nominations for Computer Weekly’s annual Most Influential Women in UK Technology 2018 close on 9 July. techUK will be on the judging panel and would encourage all of you who work with or know brilliant women in the sector to nominate them for this prestigious list.

Finally, this week’s good tech story is more funny than good – watch Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson get interrupted by Siri in the middle of a very serious Commons statement on Syria.

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