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Response to the 2017 budget announcement on Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation

By Nuffield Foundation

Today, the government have announced the creation of a new advisory body, with the intention to enable safe, ethical and ground-breaking innovation in AI and data-driven technologies.

This Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation will work with government, regulators and industry to lay the foundations for AI adoption.

The Nuffield Foundation has actively supported the recommendation made by the Royal Society-British Academy working group on Data Governance for greater stewardship of the data landscape that has in part led to today’s announcement. We look forward to the Government announcing further details soon to explore the remit and scale of the advisory body.

As a complement to the government initiative, the Nuffield Foundation has been working closely with a number of organisations, including the Alan Turing Institute, Royal Society, British Academy, Royal Statistical Society, Omidyar Network, TechUK and the Wellcome Trust, on plans to establish an independent Convention to tackle the ethical and social issues arising from data use, artificial intelligence and associated technologies.

The Convention will create a space, upstream of government and regulation, for different perspectives and interests to anticipate emerging issues arising from data use. It will consider how to maximise social well-being and promote human flourishing, by shaping emerging debates around new technologies, exploring the distribution of benefits and risks across society, and developing a community of practice that is deserving of public trust.

Our intention is to establish this body in 2018.

By Nuffield Foundation

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We improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in EducationWelfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

We offer our grant-holders the freedom to frame questions and enable new thinking. Our research must stand up to rigorous academic scrutiny, but we understand that to be successful in effecting change, it also needs to be relevant to people’s experience.