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UK and France sign MoU on AI and data



‘Digital Colloque’ involves commitment to work together on digital public services

Governments of the UK and France are planning to work together more closely in the development of digital public services as part of a broader ‘Digital Colloque’ for collaboration on artificial intelligence (AI) and data.

The move was announced as Digital Secretary Matt Hancock visited Paris to speak at a conference on data.

The agreement includes a five-year accord for the two countries to work together on improving digital services.

A memorandum of understanding includes a provision for them to support each other’s goals in providing “better digital public services which are fully accessible, and so straightforward and convenient that people prefer to use them”.

Other elements include providing support to build digital skills to encourage people to use online public services, and committing to open standards for government information, data, algorithms and software. The latter is aimed at promoting interoperability and the development of open source solutions.

Institutes' collaboration

The Digital Colloque involves a collaboration between the UK’s Alan Turing Institute – which is emerging as the lead body for the Government on AI – and the DATAIA institute in France. They will carry out collaborative research in areas of shared interest, such as fairness and transparency in the design and implementation of algorithms.

Another significant element involves the London based Entrepreneur First, which supports the development of tech talent, setting up Paris office.

Alan Wilson, chief executive officer of the Alan Turing Institute, said: “The fundamental goal behind all our research is to build a data and AI enriched world for the benefit of all. In order to do this, it is critical to forge international collaborations and share our knowledge, expertise and ideas with other research centres around the world.

“The institute and DATAIA both share a vision for building research in data science and AI which crosses disciplinary boundaries and recognises the societal implications of data and algorithms. It is a pleasure to kickstart this engagement and we look forward to working with them to advance UK and French excellence in this area."

Image by TeaMeister (amended), CC BY 2.0 through flickr

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