This webinar took place on 28 July 2022. Click here to read the event round-up.

techUK is excited to bring you the next event in its Future Visions series - The series explores the next-generation technologies at the cutting edge of research and development that are set to disrupt industries, challenge incumbents, and act as a catalyst for growth. It offers the opportunity to learn about the latest advances in technology from those at the heart of its development, and what this might mean for your business.

Fake data, fake realities? Navigating the future of synthetic data for UK tech

The UK tech sector is increasingly turning to synthetic data to address current challenges around data access and availability, privacy, and sharing.

Advocates of synthetic data argue that it is better for privacy preservation than ‘anonymised’ datasets that despite best efforts can, from time to time, be linked back with identifiers. It also removes the reliance on data sharing for the formation of the datasets and often times is more scalable. It is no wonder, then, that Gartner predicts that by 2024, 60% of data used for the development of AI and analytics projects will be synthetically generated. In fact, it is possible that AI models simply won’t be possible without the use of synthetic data.  

However, amongst the advocates and advantages of synthetic data, there are justifiable apprehensions about data generation techniques, transparency and explainability that could offset the potential benefits it  could bring. Furthermore, if existing barriers to unlocking the full value of non-synthetic or ‘real data’ were removed, it could be possible that the need of synthetic data would be reduced. There are also many other long-standing data challenges that exist which risk persisting in the context of synthetic data if not addressed, such as the data skills shortage. 

In this webinar, techUK will seek to answer some of the burning questions members have around the creation and use of synthetic data, where it could be revolutionary, and whether it will live up to its hype.  

In particular, this webinar will address: 

  • What are the common ways to create synthetic data, and what does the emerging synthetic data ecosystem look like? 

  • What is the connection between synthetic data and PET’s?  

  • Is synthetic data a plaster over larger data availability challenges, or a long term solution for businesses? 

  • How do we ensure decisions made based off synthetic data are rooted in reality, rather than what a machine imagines that reality to be? 

  • What are some of the key ethical considerations which should underpin the generation of synthetic data, and how important is public trust?

  • What does this mean for the future of data availability? 

Speakers include:

  • Dr. Martin O'reilly, Director of Research Engineering, The Alan Turing Institute
  • Jeremy Poulter, Business Development & Solutions Director, Defence and National Security, Microsoft UK
  • Alexandra Ebert, Chief Trust Officer, Mostly AI
  • Emanuele Haerens, Commercial Director, Hazy
  • Laura Foster, Head of Tech & Innovation, techUK

Click below to view our other Unleashing Innovation series:

Laura Foster

Laura Foster

Head of Technology and Innovation, techUK

Laura is techUK’s Head of Programme for Technology and Innovation.

She supports the application and expansion of emerging technologies, including Quantum Computing, High-Performance Computing, AR/VR/XR and Edge technologies, across the UK. As part of this, she works alongside techUK members and UK Government to champion long-term and sustainable innovation policy that will ensure the UK is a pioneer in science and technology

Before joining techUK, Laura worked internationally as a conference researcher and producer covering enterprise adoption of emerging technologies. This included being part of the strategic team at London Tech Week.

Laura has a degree in History (BA Hons) from Durham University, focussing on regional social history. Outside of work she loves reading, travelling and supporting rugby team St. Helens, where she is from.

[email protected]

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Dani Dhiman

Dani Dhiman

Policy Manager, Artificial Intelligence and Digital Regulation, techUK

Dani is Policy Manager for Artificial Intelligence & Digital Regulation at techUK, and previously worked on files related to data and privacy. She formerly worked in Vodafone Group's Public Policy & Public Affairs team supporting the organisation’s response to the EU Recovery & Resilience facility, covering the allocation of funds and connectivity policy reforms. Dani has also previously worked as a researcher for Digital Catapult, looking at the AR/VR and creative industry.

Dani has a BA in Human, Social & Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge, focussing on Political Philosophy, the History of Political Thought and Gender studies.

[email protected]

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