Whoever said August was a quiet month lied. Happy Friday and welcome to Policy Pulse.
On Thursday evening Boris Johnson took to Facebook to announce a new policy just as everyone was getting ready to go home. Speaking to the country he said he wanted to ensure the UK's immigration system attracted the best minds from across the world - to that end a new 'fast-track' for scientists is being developed. This is a welcome signal from No10 to help boost Britain's reputation. You can read our CEO comments here.
techUK was given a heads up at an earlier roundtable on business no-deal preparedness with Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (the artist formerly known as Michael Gove). Next week we will be surveying our members on their No Deal preparations and you will see techUK stepping up communications to tech businesses on the issue as we countdown to Halloween.
Moving away from Brexit and to exactly the sort of thing we should be committing time and money too, this week saw the Health Secretary announce the creation of a National Artificial Intelligence lab by NHSX. The lab will explore how artificial intelligence can be deployed in the health service to improve patient outcomes. With people living longer smart health services will be key to the sustainability of the NHS.
Ethics has been at the heart of the debate on how the NHS uses data and artificial intelligence reflecting both the increasing anxieties and thoughtfulness on the issue.
Sticking with the theme, this week the CBI launched their report on AI and ethics joining the ever-growing number of voices who argue that if the UK wants to carve out a leadership role in the AI space it will be by developing ethical AI. This is an issue techUK has been discussing in depth with industry and other interested parties for a number of years, our third Digital Ethics Summit is now within sight (11th December).
techUK news and events
With a long Summer stretching out ahead of us (yes I know that is maybe wishful thinking) our Digital Ethics Summit might seem very far away indeed. Not to worry, techUK has plenty of stellar occassions between now and then.
Kicking off the autumn on 18th September is our flagship Public Services conference Building the Smarter State,exploring how emerging tech and societal trends will transform how public services are designed and delivered, the workforce that will be delivering them and the citizens they're designed for.
techUK is delighted to follow this up with our first major skills and opportunities conference, Creating Digital Futures, on 8 October in Manchester. Creating Digital Futures will showcase the myriad of pathways into tech and explore how we can reach, attract and retain diverse talent. The conference will explore how we as a sector can tell our stories better, and ensure that as the economy digitises and the Fourth Industrial Revolution charges ahead, that no one is left behind. Book your free ticket now.
Not wanting to stay away from Manchester for too long we will be back in November with our 2019 Supercharging the Digital Economy conference, championing the transformative, cutting edge and emerging digital technologies that are key to accelerating the digital transformation of key sectors and industries in the North. Supercharging will examine how the adoption of advanced digital technologies and services are driving economic growth, productivity and job creation, with a particular focus of their impact on transport and logistics.