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Roger Taylor to lead Centre for Data Ethics


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Founder of healthcare data firm Dr Foster, Roger Taylor, has been announced as the chair of the new Government backed Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation. 

Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright also confirmed that the Government’s Office for AI – a joint unit between Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) – will now work with the Open Data Institute (ODI) to explore the future potential of data trusts.

Alongside Taylor (pictured) other members of the board will include Lord Robert Winston, professor of science and society at Imperial College London, Dame Patricia Hodgson, former chair of Ofcom, and Dr Adrian Weller, director for AI at the Alan Turing Institute.

The creation of the centre was announced in the Industrial Strategy and highlighted in the £1 billion AI Sector Deal as a step towards realising the potential of artificial intelligence in the UK. Estimates suggest it could be worth as much as £23.2 billion to the UK economy by 2030.

It has been established to make sure the UK is leading the debate on how data driven technologies are used for the maximum benefit of society. It will analyse and anticipate gaps in the governance landscape, agree and set out best practice on ethical and innovative uses of data, and advise government on the need for specific policy or regulatory action.

World leader

Wright said: “We are a world leader in artificial intelligence and our modern Industrial Strategy puts pioneering technologies at the heart of our plans to build a Britain which is fit for the future. But it is crucial that the public have confidence it is being used to improve people's lives and we have the right expertise and framework in place to maximise its potential.

“I am pleased we have secured global leaders from academia and industry to work alongside us as we develop the world’s first Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation.”

The work between the centre and the ODI will include the creation of a data trust to allow two or more organisations to share data in a safe, fair and ethical way so they can work together to tackle problems such as recycling, food waste or speeding up construction projects. This may, for example, be a local council sharing data on food recycling with a start-up firm.

The Government is also establishing an AI Council to oversee implementation of its AI Sector Deal, promote industry-to-industry cooperation in the field, boost the understanding of AI in the business world, and identify barriers to growth and innovation.

Image from DCMS

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