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British Academy comments on the Government’s response to the Science and Technology Select Committee’s report on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

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Professor Genevra Richardson FBA and Professor Ottoline Leyser FRS, Co-chairs of the Royal Society and British Academy data governance project, said:

“We welcome the government’s signal that it will draw on expertise to establish the best principles and the soundest regulation to guide the development and application of technologies like AI and machine learning.

“Data-driven technology is all around us, in our phones, in the smart meters in our homes, in toys and gadgets, and other smart devices. These technologies offer many benefits which could transform our society including improving diagnostics in healthcare, creating more efficient transport and energy systems, and a step change in manufacturing capabilities. However, where technologies are analysing huge amounts of potentially sensitive data there is also inherent risk, which must be safeguarded against.

“In the UK we have world class expertise in data science, ethics and a rapidly growing tech sector. There is an opportunity for the UK to lead internationally in guiding new data sciences. At the Royal Society and British Academy we are drawing on this expertise and connecting debates across different sectors to identify the best response to the ethical and social impacts of these new technologies. We hope our recommendations will inform the development of the best data governance framework, to manage risks to individuals and communities and maximise the major social and economic benefits for all of society.”

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