In response to the National AI Strategy, Natalie Cramp, CEO of Profusion, said:
“There’s a lot of good in the UK Government’s National AI Strategy 10-year plan. The ambition to become an AI superpower may grab all the headlines, but the more important aspect of the document is the recognition that diversity within data science is a crucial to developing AI. There is also an important reference to creating new ethical AI standards. How we approach both of these issues is going to define whether the Government’s plan is successful. “Improving diversity isn’t just a moral imperative, it is fundamental to the future of AI because it enables better algorithms to be created. A lot of the issues we have seen recently around data bias are largely due to the data science industry being dominated by one group. If you have people from different backgrounds with different experiences and skills developing AI solutions, it reduces the risk of unfavourable outcomes such as bias. Hand in hand with improving diversity is closing the skills gap. We’ve found that working directly with schools to educate students and teachers on how a career in data science works both in theory and practice goes a long way to engaging the groups that we need to become the next generation of data scientists. “It is of course easy to dismiss a document like this because it is big on ambition but light on detail, however, I think this is a really important first step. The Government is recognising the problems and the opportunities for the UK in AI. If this is to be successful, it is critical that the Government works with the business and academic communities on actually creating detailed strategies. It shouldn’t be left to a small group in Big Tech to define the future of AI.
“We also need to work hard to engage and educate the public. Not only will this enable people to understand the risks and rewards of AI it will provide the support and awareness that will drive politicians to actually deliver this plan.”
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