I am reminded regularly by the community that if AI is responsibly built and safely adopted, it can help address a host of fundamental challenges – whether that’s building a health and social care system fit for the future, contributing to a thriving economy or creating innovative tools to help tackle the climate crisis. The impact of AI will differ between sectors, but across all it has the ability to materially improve lives.
So you can imagine how delighted I was to chair the first meeting of the AI Council last week, a brilliant mix of experts who will work with the AI community and the Office for Artificial Intelligence, as formal support to the Council, to support Government’s commitment to keeping the UK at the forefront of the AI and Data revolution. The Council brings together leaders from across the AI ecosystem to ensure the UK is in a position for AI developments to thrive and benefit all of society.
What will the Council do?
The Council will initially focus on the narrative and perception of AI, explore how data-sharing can work for everyone, and going further to create a diverse AI skills landscape, creating working groups in each of these areas. These working groups, spearheaded by a stellar cast from across the AI ecosystem, will build out and recommend actionable steps to achieve this aim.
The Council will have a threefold activity: supporting existing government work in AI, catalysing new activity and cultivating a unifying voice for the AI community. The AI Council will work across government, providing advice and guidance to ensure the potential of this technology is fully harnessed. This includes working with the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation to promote responsible AI, which was set up to identify the measures needed to strengthen and improve the way data and AI is used to deliver maximum benefits for society.
However, while the Council is made up of 22 individuals, for the country to be successful we need the whole community to come together to work on the challenges and opportunities we collectively face.
How can you get involved?
That is why we want to invite people from across the community to join us in each of these areas. Register your interest to participate in the working groups by Sunday 20 October and be a part of that work. The secretariat and working group leads will then ensure that a diverse selection of participants have the opportunity to lend their expertise and insight to developing the UK’s unique advantages in AI.
What does the future hold for AI?
Of course, healthcare is an area in which the UK has a clear competitive advantage, and Government is already hard at work to ensure AI technologies are introduced with the needs of the NHS in mind. There are numerous benefits to getting this right, both economically and on the international stage, and that is why we will imbue each working group with an underlying focus on health to help coordinate our efforts.
I wholeheartedly believe the opportunities that AI afford are undeniable, and I’m delighted that the Council is now embarking on its work to harness these opportunities with the wider community, to ensure the UK is the place for safe, ethical and trusted AI.
Tabitha Goldstaub is chair of the government’s AI Council and AI Business Champion.
Get involved with the AI Council
The first AI Council meeting was held on 9 September, and three working groups were agreed upon that will seek to:
- Develop the narrative and perception of AI to boost confidence of this technology among businesses and society
- Increase the diversity of people studying and working in AI
- Explore how safe, fair, legal and ethical data-sharing frameworks can work for everyone
From diagnosing cancer, calculating stock shortages to identifying patients most at risk of diseases, AI has the potential to help solve the challenges facing the NHS today.
To help boost the economic benefits of developing AI in healthcare and in line with the AI Early Diagnosis Mission, Government has pledged to drive forward support for AI in the health sector, and this will be discussed in each working group.
The priorities of these working groups will be shaped by the group leads over the coming months.
Do you want to get involved with a working group? Register your interest here by Sunday 20 October. The working group leads will select the final list of participants, depending on their skills and experience.
Stay in contact with the Office for AI
The AI Council’s next meeting will take place on 5 December, where the priorities will be shaped and engagement with the wider tech community will formally commence.
- Find out more info about the AI Council, including current members, here.
- Sign up to the Office for AI newsletter to stay up-to-date on AI Council and Office for AI news.
The Office for AI, a joint unit between DCMS and BEIS, is secretariat to the AI Council.