UK government to set up new Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation

The UK government will invest £75m into delivering recommendations from an independent review on AI, released earlier this year.

[London, UK] The UK government will open a Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation to ensure ethical standards are at the forefront of AI and data-driven technology development.

The new advisory body will work with regulators, the industry and the government to pave the way for sensible AI adoption.

In addition, more than £75m will be invested to deliver recommendations from Professor Dame Wendy Hall and Jérôme Pesenti’s review on growing the AI industry to ensure the UK remains a leader in the area.

Experts said the government should set up an AI council in order to help the UK maximise the increasing use of AI and ‘major social and economic benefits’ it could bring.

Other key areas included in the review focused on improving access to data, providing support for expansion of digital skills and maximising the potential of AI research in the UK.

The Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence, appointed in June this year, is currently taking oral evidence from interested stakeholders to assess the economic, ethical and social ramifications of AI adoption.

In a written response submitted to the committee, Cancer Research UK said it was in the ‘early stages of exploring machine learning’ in their work, with a particular focus on early detection and diagnosis of cancer.

“If we are to realise the potential of machine learning in healthcare we must invest in improving data quality – we can only trust the conclusions of AI if they are based on high quality data,” it was added.

Today’s announcements were part of Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond’s Autumn Budget, which included a pledge to invest an additional £2.8bn over the next three years in the NHS in England.

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