Government appoints experts to new AI Council

Profile picture for user ddpreez By Derek du Preez May 16, 2019
The AI Council was established alongside the Government Office for AI and the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation.

Image of a human brain abstracted with AI

The Government’s recently created AI Council, a committee that aims to help boost the growth of AI across the UK, has appointed a number of experts from business, academia and data privacy organisations. The Council has been established to help promote the adoption of AI, as well as its ethical use in businesses and organisations across the country.

The appointments include well known names such as Ocado’s Chief Technology Officer, Paul Clarke, as well as Alan Turing Institute Chief Executive, Professor Adrian Smith.

The AI Council forms part of the Government’s push to establish the UK as a centre for AI development and expertise. It was created alongside the Government Office for AI and the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, and forms part of the government’s AI sector deal, which is worth almost £1 billion.

It has been estimated that AI could be worth £232 billion to the UK economy by 2030 (approximately 10 percent of GDP). The AI sector deal had a strong focus on skills, with money set aside for training 8,000 specialist computer science teachers, 1,000 government funded AI PHDs and a commitment to develop a global Turing Fellowship programme to attract and retain the best research talent in AI to the UK.

Announcing the appointments to the AI Council, Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright said:

Britain is already a leading authority in AI. We are home to some of the world’s finest academic institutions, landing record levels of investment to the sector and attracting the best global tech talent, but we must not be complacent.

Through our AI Council we will continue this momentum by leveraging the knowledge of experts from a range of sectors to provide leadership on the best use and adoption of artificial intelligence across the economy.

Under the leadership of Tabitha Goldstaub the Council will represent the UK AI Sector on the international stage and help us put in place the right skills and practices to make the most of data-driven technologies.

Tabitha Goldstaub, Chair of the Council, is also co-founder of CognitionX, an online platform which provides companies with information and access to AI experts, who can be contracted to help boost AI in business. She has oversight of the Council and will advise government on how to work with and encourage businesses to make use of AI technologies.

Other names on the AI Council include (for the full list, click here):

  • Dame Wendy Hall - Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton
  • Alice Webb - Director for Children’s and Education at the BBC
  • Ann Cairns - Executive Vice Chair of Mastercard
  • Professor Chris Bishop - Microsoft Technical Fellow and Director of the Microsoft Research Lab in Cambridge, UK
  • Dr Claire Craig - Chief Science Policy Officer, Royal Society
  • Professor David Lane - Professor & Founding Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics
  • Kriti Sharma - AI for good founder
  • Mustafa Suleyman - Co-Founder, DeepMind
  • Professor Neil Lawrence - Professor at the University of Sheffield and Director, Machine Learning at Amazon
  • Dame Patricia Hodgson - Board Member for the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation
  • Rachel Dunscombe - CEO, NHS Digital Academy

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

The use of Artificial Intelligence is becoming integral to people’s everyday lives, from companies protecting their customers from fraud to smart devices in our homes.

The outstanding expertise of those joining our new AI Council will be invaluable as we look to develop this ever-changing industry into one that is world-leading, attracting the brightest and best to work in new highly-skilled jobs.

This AI Council follows our ground-breaking AI Sector Deal, and is a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy – investing now to secure the UK’s position on the world stage in these cutting edge technologies both now and long into the future.