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Catch up: AI & Bots4Good 2020

Wednesday 25 November

UKAuthority's AI & Bots4Good explored the use of artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning and interactive chatbots in the public sector - asking whether they helped or hindered the Covid-19 response and will they be part of the sector's future?

With thanks to our specialist partners NDL and Blue Prism Cloud for supporting this UKAuthority event

Quick links:

Time stamps below the videos indicate the start of each presentation or discussion panel. There are also links to speaker slides where these are available.

Session One - Wednesday, 25 November

  • 00:53: The AI Revolution and Me - Professor Birgitte Andersen, CEO and Co-Creator, Big Innovation Centre
    Professor Birgitte Andersen talks about lockdown and the update of AI use in security, education, health, research, and shopping (Download slides
  • 21:23: Streamlining Free School Meal (FSM) Eligibility - Sarah Talbot, Emerging Technologies Lead and Rhian Loveless, Senior Business Analyst for Emerging Technologies, Swindon Borough Council
    Sarah Talbot and Rhian Loveless discuss the impact of Covid-19 on FSM eligibility; developing and implementing the programme during a global pandemic; and making a meaningful difference. They talk about the increase in the number of children eligible, how the project was developed and implemented against the backdrop of the challenges COVID presented and look what has been achieved (Download slides)
  • 33:05: Automating Digital Transformation with NDL SX/DX - Will Valintine, Technical Solutions Architect, Conwy County Borough Council 
    Will Valintine describes why Conwy council investigated RPA; why they choose NDL; what projects they worked on; approach and lessons learned; received benefits; how Covid affected the project and plans for the future (Download slides)
  • 45:18: Unifying frontline services with the back-office - Tom Wright, Head of Digital Engagement, NDL
    Tom Wright explores where RPA fits in the wider transformational journey, how can we make both front-end and back-end transformation as simple, cost-efficient and accessible as possible (Download slides)
  • 58:50: Seamless automation: Liam McLaughlin, Senior Interoperability and Development Manager and Deputy CIO, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
    Liam looks at how automation has been a critical element in delivering a digital transformation project that has real impact to front line NHS clinicians (Download slides)
  • 1:15:44: Q&A / panel discussion

Session Two - Thursday, 26 November

  • 00:32: Artificial Intelligence Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) - Maija Banks, AI Category Manager, Crown Commercial Service
    Maija Banks talks about the new Dynamic Purchasing System and the use of AI in the public sector (Download slides
  • 18:39: Taking Intelligent Automation from Tactical to Strategic - how Suffolk County Council has paved the way for long-standing digital innovation, while taking care of the here and now - Richard Small, Intelligent Automation Lead, Suffolk County Council and Richard Boddington, Head of Local Government & Housing, Blue Prism Cloud
    When talking about digital transformation, it’s easy to get caught up in the big-ticket shifts to your operations, and overlook the small, often modest steps it takes to get there. While many approach automation with an end-goal in sight, it’s important to take stock of those incremental stepping stones that put those goals within reach: often yielding significant savings and efficiencies in the meantime.  Richard Small recounts Suffolk council's journey from small-scale, back office efficiency gains, to far-reaching digital innovations that span departments and functions – all through a global pandemic (Download slides)
  • 44:02: Norfolk County Council – RPA Moon Landing - Keith McDowell, IMT project manager, Norfolk County Council 
    Keith McDowell's session covers addressing old world problems, using new paradigm of RPA (Download slides
  • 1:03:10: Q&A / panel discussion 

Session Three - Friday 27 November

  • 01:08: Automation is as old as the hills, yet we still can’t get it right first time - Bill Mitchell, Director of Policy, BCS
    Bill Mitchell examines why we struggle to automate services and why in the end we more or less get it right. As always the challenges with new automation technologies are down to the people who create them, the people responsible for adopting them, the people who govern them, and the people who have to use them (Download slides
  • 15:48: AI in Health and Care Award - Daniel Bamford, Deputy Director AI Award, NHS England 
    Daniel Bamford gives an award update and talks about leveraging the award to develop a strong health and care AI sector (Download slides
  • 31:24: Making Time Matter with Intelligent Automation - Darren Atkins, Chief Technology Officer, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust 
    Darren Atkins has pioneered the use of intelligent automation in the NHS. In this session, he explains how automation is helping the NHS to save thousands of hours as well as offering helpful advice on adopting and accelerating automation within your own organisation (Download slides
  • 51:20: Q&A / panel discussion 

Event resources

Resources mentioned during this event are listed below: 


AI award: 

AI & Bots4Good specialist partners

NDL's goal is clear – “To aid digital transformation in the public sector, for the public good”. We believe in the manageable evolution of processes to drive efficiencies, liberate information, and improve experiences for those that both deliver and use our public services.  
Over the past 30 years, NDL Software Limited is proud to have made a tangible contribution to the public sector in its drive towards digital transformation. Experienced in the delivery of end-to-end solutions, NDL is continuously building upon its RPA platform with the capabilities of AI cognitive services and NDL’s front-end technology tools. From NHS trusts, housing associations, police, education to local government, at NDL, we believe in giving time back to services by eliminating wasteful practices, such as rekeying, with the use of RPA and importantly, making information easily available to frontline services, when and where it’s needed. 
NDL’s end-to-end transformation products and services allow orgnisations to free up capacity behind the scenes. This means allowing staff to focus on the tasks that matter. A true digital transformation capability built upon and fully integrated with current systems, boosting the power of existing investments and services. We remain committed to working alongside our public sector community to make both front-end and back-end transformation as simple, cost-efficient and accessible as possible. 

Learn more at: or follow on twitter @NDLSoftwareLtd


Blue Prism is the global leader in intelligent automation for the enterprise, transforming the way work is done. At Blue Prism, we have users in over 150 countries in more than 1,800 businesses, including Fortune 500 and public sector organisations, that are creating value with new ways of working, unlocking efficiencies, and returning millions of hours of work back into their businesses. Our Digital Workforce is smart, secure, scalable and accessible to all; freeing up humans to re-imagine work. 
Our award winning SaaS platform, Blue Prism Cloud, simplifies scaling, giving companies access to a pool of cloud based intelligent digital workers. Pre-configured with all the tools and AI capabilities needed to get digital workers delivering business value at speed, Blue Prism Cloud leaves you free to focus your resources on delivering outcomes and rely on us to make sure your digital workforce is available 24/7. 

Learn more at: or follow on twitter @blue_prism


Support from our event partners enables UKAuthority to produce free events for the public sector to share success stories and experience with each other - you can learn more about them above


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