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Enabling trustworthy innovation to thrive in the UK

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Artificial intelligence, Data, Trustworthy innovation

I’m delighted that DCMS have today announced the members of our refreshed advisory board and updated on the Centre’s remit going forward. 

Since the CDEI was established in 2018, we have published internationally recognised research, including into two of the most challenging cross-cutting issues in this field, online targeting and bias in algorithmic decision-making, with much of this work directly informing government policy

The insights generated by the CDEI - through research and engagement with the public and a wide range of stakeholders - show that more active support is needed to enable trustworthy innovation to thrive in the UK. If in 2018 the focus was on developing the right principles and frameworks to govern the use of data and AI, the challenge is now to ensure these values are embedded into organisations’ use of these technologies.

The CDEI has a vital role to play in enabling trustworthy innovation

The National Data Strategy highlights the UK’s aim to harness the power of data to boost productivity, create businesses and jobs, and improve public services. However, organisations lack information and capability to innovate with data and AI in ways that will command and retain public trust. This can cause them to forgo innovation. 

The role of my team at the CDEI and our refreshed advisory board announced today will be to meet this challenge head on; working with organisations across the UK to develop, test and refine approaches to trustworthy data use and AI governance. 

Our advisory board will bring a breadth of expertise to the Centre’s projects

Our refreshed advisory board includes globally renowned experts including:

  • Industry leaders, such as Edwina Dunn and Jessica Lennard 
  • Technical specialists, such as Dr Adrian Weller, Jack Clark, Martin Hosken, Richard Sergeant and Dr Rumman Chowdhury
  • Public sector and civil society leaders, such as Eddie Copeland and James Plunkett
  • Experts in law and policy, such as Dr Marion Oswald, Dr Mimi Zou and Kate Rock

The advisory board will provide hands-on support on our projects, and help to shape our work programme going forward. This will ensure that the CDEI’s projects are informed by a deep understanding of the interventions required to drive forward trustworthy innovation across the public, private and third sector. 

We will partner with organisations to develop, test and refine approaches to trustworthy data governance 

Our research suggests that public support for greater use of technology depends on trust in how it is governed; putting the right governance regime in place will therefore be crucial if we are to unlock the benefits associated with these technologies. Without public trust, consumers will be less likely to use new technologies or share the data needed to build them, while organisations will be less willing to invest in data-driven solutions. 

The CDEI will focus its efforts on supporting partners to innovate with trust. Our work will focus on three areas, aligned with the priorities set out in the National Data Strategy:  

  • Maximising the public benefit of data by enabling it to be used and shared responsibly: This includes piloting new forms of data stewardship and governance to help unlock the value of data across the economy. For instance, we are working with BEIS to develop the features of trustworthy Smart Data schemes, and partnering with DCMS on the Online Safety Data Initiative (OSDI), both of which have the potential to define pioneering forms of data governance that will be replicable.
  • Building a strong AI assurance ecosystem in the UK: This will help the UK to realise Mission 2 of the National Data Strategy; to secure a pro-growth and trusted data regime. It includes developing a roadmap which sets out how the UK can become a global leader in the emerging AI assurance industry, as well as working directly with partners, including with government’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (to embed ethical due diligence in the future regulatory framework for self-driving vehicles), and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (to develop guidance on the use of data-driven tools in recruitment). 
  • Facilitating the delivery of transformative data and AI projects in the public sector: Supporting Mission 3 of the National Data Strategy, we are helping public sector partners to use data and AI in a way that commands and retains public trust. This includes working with Police Scotland (to develop inclusive governance for the use of data-driven technologies in policing) and the Ministry of Defence (to develop ethical principles for the use of AI across the defence portfolio). We’re also working with the Central Digital and Data Office to develop the UK’s first public sector algorithmic transparency standard, and the Department for Education to write guidance for local authorities on the development and use of data analytics in children’s social care. 

I will be working closely with the advisory board and team at the CDEI to make sure that these projects have a wider systemic impact; ensuring that governance approaches can be replicated and sharing insights which emerge to support organisations across the UK.

We are eager to work and engage with a diverse range of stakeholders in the UK and beyond. If you would like to discuss areas for collaboration, or hear more about any of the projects mentioned in this blog, please get in touch at 

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