New report outlines how AI can help businesses thrive

Posted on 16 Oct 2017 by Jonny Williamson

The government has published a review making 18 recommendations for how to make the UK the best place in the world for businesses developing AI.

New technologies and processes offer enormous possibilities for growth, if industry can take advantage of them, but barriers remain - image courtesy of NPL.
The report makes 18 recommendations for businesses developing AI to start, grow, and thrive including developing Data Trusts- image courtesy of NPL.

The review reported on how AI can best thrive and grow in the UK, with an additional remit of informing policymakers at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The paper was published by Dame Wendy Hall, professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, and Jérôme Pesenti, chief executive of BenevolentTech.

The publication makes 18 recommendations for businesses developing AI to start, grow, and thrive including developing Data Trusts – proven and trusted frameworks and agreements – to ensure data exchanges are secure and mutually beneficial.

Dame Wendy Hall said: “AI has been around for a very long time as a concept and this latest surge of technological development is likely to see automation continue to escalate and accelerate in every walk of life.

“Now is the time for us all – scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs and the government – to come together and address the issues about how AI is going to impact society and seek ways to ensure that we’re able to deliver the great breakthroughs the technology has the potential to deliver.”

The recommendations in part are:

Recommendations to improve access to data

  • To facilitate the sharing of data between organisations holding data and organisations looking to use data to develop AI, government and industry should deliver a programme to develop Data Trusts – proven and trusted frameworks and agreements – to ensure exchanges are secure and mutually beneficial.

Recommendations to improve supply of skills

  • Government, industry and academia must embrace the value and importance of a diverse workforce for AI, and should work together to break down stereotypes and broaden participation.
  • Industry should sponsor a major programme of students to pursue Masters level courses in AI, with an initial cohort of 300 students.
  • Universities should explore with employers and students the potential demand for one-year conversion Masters degrees in AI for graduates in subjects other than computing and data science.

Recommendations to maximise UK AI research

  • The Alan Turing Institute should become the national institute for artificial intelligence and data science, becoming truly national and expanded beyond the current five universities, with a key stated aim that centres its mission on artificial intelligence.
  • Universities should use clear, accessible and where possible common policies and practices for licensing IP and forming spin-out companies.

Recommendations to support uptake of AI

  • Government should work with industry and experts to establish a UK AI Council to help coordinate and grow AI in the UK.
  • The Information Commissioner’s Office and the Alan Turing Institute should develop a framework for explaining processes, services and decisions delivered by AI, to improve transparency and accountability.
  • The Department for International Trade should expand its current support programme for AI businesses.