This comes as government celebrates the one year anniversary of the AI Sector Deal as part of the modern Industrial Strategy, which aims to realise the full potential of AI to the economy

Leaders from business, academia and data privacy organisations have joined an independent expert committee created to help boost growth of AI in the UK, promote its adoption and ethical use in businesses and organisations across the country.

The line-up includes online-only retailer Ocado’s Chief Technology Officer, Paul Clarke, Dame Patricia Hodgson, Board Member of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation and The Alan Turing Institute Chief Executive, Professor Adrian Smith. Other representatives are AI for good founder Kriti Sharma, UKRI chief executive Mark Walport and Founding Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics Professor David Lane.

The AI Council members are already leading the way in the development of AI – from using it to personalise the shopping experience of Ocado orders while predicting demand, detecting fraud and keeping consumers safe, to the Alan Turing Institute building on the great British pioneer’s legacy by identifying and overcoming barriers of AI adoption in society, such as skills, consumer trust and ensuring the protection of sensitive data. These experts will help put in place the right skills, ethics and data so the UK can make the most of AI technologies.

Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright will announce line-up of the Council during his speech at Vivatech Summit, Paris, where he will speak about the importance of responsible tech and bang the drum for British tech, in particular highlighting the innovation taking place in the UK’s ‘tech for good’ sector.

Digital Secretary, Jeremy Wright, said:

Britain is already a leading authority in AI. We are home to some of the world’s finest academic institutions, landing record levels of investment to the sector and attracting the best global tech talent, but we must not be complacent.

Through our AI Council we will continue this momentum by leveraging the knowledge of experts from a range of sectors to provide leadership on the best use and adoption of artificial intelligence across the economy.

Under the leadership of Tabitha Goldstaub the Council will represent the UK AI Sector on the international stage and help us put in place the right skills and practices to make the most of data-driven technologies.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

The use of Artificial Intelligence is becoming integral to people’s everyday lives, from companies protecting their customers from fraud to smart devices in our homes.

The outstanding expertise of those joining our new AI Council will be invaluable as we look to develop this ever-changing industry into one that is world-leading, attracting the brightest and best to work in new highly-skilled jobs.

This AI Council follows our ground-breaking AI Sector Deal, and is a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy – investing now to secure the UK’s position on the world stage in these cutting edge technologies both now and long into the future.

Tabitha Goldstaub is the co-founder of CognitionX, an online platform which provides companies with information and access to AI experts to boost their businesses. She also runs CogX, one of the largest gatherings of AI experts in the world. She will have oversight of the Council and advise government on how to work with and encourage businesses and organisations to boost their use of artificial intelligence.

Tabitha Goldstaub, AI Council Chair and AI Business Champion, said:

I’m thrilled the AI Council membership has been announced, convening a brilliant mix of experts who have agreed to offer their time, experience and insight to support the growth and responsible adoption of AI in the UK.

If we are to grasp the full benefits of AI technologies it is vital all of the AI community comes together and works with the AI Council to create an open dialogue between industry, academia and the public sector, so we can see social and economic benefits for all of society.

Dame Wendy Hall, Regius Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton and AI Skills Champion, said:

It is wonderful to see the recommendations of the AI Review that I co-authored coming into reality with the announcement about the AI Council. I am delighted to be joining the Council as the UK’s AI Skills Champion.

AI is hugely important to the UK’s growth and global reputation, and the work of the Council will seek to improve the understanding of AI across the UK to encourage diversity across the sector.

Sue Daley, Associate Director of Technology and Innovation, techUK:

Realising the full potential of AI is not something that government, industry, academia or civil society can do alone. Working together is how we will make the UK AI ready and increase the adoption and use of AI technologies that can make a real difference to people’s lives. That’s why today’s announcement of the AI Council members is another important step forward.

The Council has a key role to play in ensuring the UK government has access to the insights, input and expertise we need to remain a world leader in AI. techUK looks forward to working with the Council to drive the development and adoption of AI in a way that benefits everyone across society.

The intention is for the AI Council to cultivate and encourage a much wider representation of experts to focus on specific topics which will initially include,but not limited to, data & ethics, adoption, skills and diversity. This will allow the broader AI community to work together to drive towards solutions and engage in making the UK a leader in the AI and data revolution.

Confirmation of the AI Council memberships comes on the first anniversary of the AI Sector Deal, a billion-pound joint government and industry deal to put the nation at the forefront of emerging technologies.

Since the launch in 2018, the AI Sector Deal has:

  1. Established the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, a body convened to provide independent, expert advice on the measures needed to enable and ensure safe, ethical and innovative uses of AI and data-driven technologies.
  2. Announced 16 new Centres for Doctoral Training at universities across the UK delivering 1,000 new PhDs over the next five years.
  3. Offered new AI Fellowships to attract and retain the top AI talent led by the Alan Turing Institute.
  4. Confirmed the first wave of industry-funding for new AI Masters places at leading UK institutions.
  5. Agreed five new centres of excellence across the UK for digital pathology and imaging, including radiology and using AI medical advances.
  6. Announced new research projects that will consider how AI can be applied in the legal and accountancy sectors
  7. Partnered with the Open Data Institute to explore the potential of data trusts, tackling illegal wildlife trade and reducing food waste.


Notes to editors:

Following wide engagement across industry, academia and the public sector, the chair of the AI Council, Tabitha Goldstaub, worked closely with Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright, Business Secretary Greg Clark and the Office for AI to bring together leaders from a broad range of backgrounds and expertise to join the Council.

This includes:

  • Dame Wendy Hall – Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton
  • Professor Adrian Smith – Institute Director and Chief Executive, The Alan Turing Institute
  • Alice Bentinck – Cofounder, Entrepreneur First
  • Alice Webb – Director for Children’s and Education at the BBC
  • Ann Cairns – Executive Vice Chair of Mastercard
  • Professor Chris Bishop – Microsoft Technical Fellow and Director of the Microsoft Research Lab in Cambridge, UK
  • Dr Claire Craig – Chief Science Policy Officer, Royal Society
  • Professor David Lane – Professor & Founding Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics
  • Kriti Sharma – AI for good founder
  • Marc Warner – CEO, Faculty
  • Professor Máire O’Neill – Principal Investigator at Queen’s University Belfast’s Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) and Director of the UK Research Institute in Secure Hardware and Embedded Systems (RISE)
  • Sir Mark Walport – Chief Executive, UKRI
  • Martin Tisne – Managing Director, Luminate
  • Mustafa Suleyman – Co-Founder, DeepMind
  • Professor Neil Lawrence – Professor at the University of Sheffield and Director, Machine Learning at Amazon
  • Professor Nick Jennings – Vice-Provost Research and Enterprise, Imperial College
  • Dame Patricia Hodgson – Board Member for the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation
  • Paul Clarke – Chief Technology Officer, Ocado
  • Professor Pete Burnap – Professor of Data Science & Cybersecurity at Cardiff University
  • Priya Lakhani – Founder of edtech AI platform CENTURY Tech
  • Rachel Dunscombe – CEO, NHS Digital Academy

The AI and Data Grand Challenge

The Industrial Strategy sets out Grand Challenges to put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future, ensuring that the UK takes advantage of major global changes, improving people’s lives and the country’s productivity. Artificial intelligence and data is one of the 4 Grand Challenges which will see AI used across a variety of industries and put the UK at the forefront of the AI and data revolution. Exploring the best skills package to equip people with the expertise to make the most of AI was a key commitment of the AI and Data Grand Challenge’s £950 million Sector Deal.