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UK must take leadership in AI development and implementation

House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s report into Robotics and Artificial Intelligence is a step in the right direction.

Today Wednesday 12 October the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee launched the findings of its “Robotics and Artificial Intelligence” inquiry. Sue Daley, Head of Big Data and Analytics welcomed the Committee’s report which draws on the points raised in techUK’s written submission to the inquiry.

techUK is pleased that the Committee recognises the potential for robotics and artificial intelligence to bring huge economic and societal benefits. Like all new powerful technologies robotics and AI will bring great changes and it is essential that they are used in a way that enhances the lives of ordinary people and strengthens the society that we live in. By being at the forefront of innovation, the UK can be at the forefront of shaping the practical and ethical decisions that will have to be taken as these technologies become more prominent. “By embracing these technologies we get the opportunity shape their development and use, not just here in the UK but around the world”, said Sue Daley “We have a great opportunity here in the UK to help to define the future – especially give our global leadership in the development of AI.” “We need to approach the future with a combination of confidence and vigilance. Business, academia, citizens and government all have a role to play in ensuring we have an informed and balanced debate about the potential impact of these new technologies and how we can ensure we all benefit from their development and use.

“The Committee is right to call for greater Government leadership in addressing the digital skills gap. This is one of the most urgent policy challenges we face today. The UK is losing £2bn per year due to the inability of employers to fill key digital skills roles. As techUK’s recent Big Data Skills Gap report showed, through a combination of attracting the best international talent and growing a domestic talent pipeline the UK will be able to ensure it has the skills required to maximise the potential of these technologies. But action is needed now. The scale of the growing gap over the next decade cannot be underestimated and must be closed if the UK is to realise the full benefits of AI. The Committee’s view that now is not the time to introduce sector wide regulations echoes techUK’s submission.”

Many of the issues raised in the Committee’s report will be explored further by techUK at its AI event “What Do We Want Our AI Driven Future to Look Like?”being held on Monday 31st October. Speakers at this session will discuss how we build the right economic and social conditions needed to gain public trust and understanding of the opportunities afforded by AI technologies. Spaces are still available for this session. Members interested in attending should click here.


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