UK govt urged to "double down" on AI

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 13 January, 2021

UK govt urged to "double down" on AI

An independent expert committee set up by the UK government has published a new AI Roadmap report calling on the government to develop a central source of information on AI-based tools and projects for public servants.

The new report also recommends the government promote the usage of AI in health and social care, and fund pathfinder AI projects.

According to the report, the public sector should be a priority area for AI innovation. This can be achieved by ensuring relevant data can be accessed and evaluated by public servants.

The report accordingly proposes a central repository for finding information on tools and projects, with a focus on linking public and private sector data to improve insights and encourage a sophisticated adoption of AI.

But the report cautions that AI should only be used in projects that are outcome based, and must be applied ethically. The report recommends that independent committees are tasked with considering the ethical, social and economic impacts of its use.

The report also points to the need to demystify algorithmic decision-making, build up data science skills in government and to support intelligent procurement of AI products. It urges the government to work with the Alan Turing Institute, the Royal Society and the Royal Statistical Society to these ends.

More broadly, the report predicts that AI could deliver a 10% increase in the UK’s GDP by 2030. But this will require “doubling down” on the recent investments the UK has made in AI and ensuring the UK remains at the forefront of the development of AI.

Image credit: © Limbach

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