Westminster eForum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +044 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.

Developing artificial intelligence technologies in the UK

Morning, Thursday, 10th September 2020

Online Conference

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference focuses on AI technologies in the UK.

Delegates will discuss developments so far and priorities going forward for:

  • supporting the UK’s commercial AI sector,
  • putting in place data standards and infrastructure, and
  • addressing key ethical issues.

We also expect discussion on the contribution of AI to the work going on to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, and what can be learned and taken forward from the response of the sector in areas such as responsiveness, agility and collaboration.

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:

It takes place with:

The discussion in detail:

Data protection, transparency, trust and tackling bias, looking at:

  • mitigating potential risks to personal data and privacy associated with AI across the public and private sectors,
  • increasing the availability of data sets for use in AI development, including:
    • personal data such as healthcare records, as well as systems data, and
    • balancing openness with ethical and privacy considerations.
  • how best to achieve transparency with respect to AI-driven decision-making,
  • addressing bias in algorithmic decision-making, and its replication when resulting data sets are re-used, and
  • the wider applicability of the data trust concept and how it might be rolled out across further use cases and sectors of the economy.

Infrastructure for AI, looking at:

  • putting in place the data infrastructure necessary to support the development of AI technologies in the UK, and
  • securing the availability of large, high-quality and consistently-formatted data sets.

R&D in the UK, looking at:

  • funding for research and development in the UK, including from public sector to support research in UK universities and other institutions,
  • the way forward for fostering collaboration between universities and commercial organisations,
  • the future role for university start-up incubator programmes, and
  • developing models for commercialising academic research in AI.

Skills, education and the talent pipeline, including:

  • progress of the Centres for Doctoral Training programme, as well as the delivery of AI Masters courses, and
  • attracting talent from overseas and retaining talent in the UK - including the potential implications of the Government’s proposals for the future immigration system.

Key considerations for public-sector bodies, including:

  • transparency,
  • accountability, and
  • recognising the present limitations of the technology.

Developing the UK’s commercial AI sector, looking at:

  • driving investment in UK artificial intelligence start-ups and scale-ups, and what more is needed from policymakers and public sector bodies, as well as from investors and venture capital firms,
  • increasing the availability and diversity of funding sources and better connecting them with AI ventures,
  • priorities for AI start-ups themselves in establishing themselves as attractive and viable investment prospects. and
  • increasing the availability of business support resources for UK AI ventures.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the role of AI in the response, including:

  • efforts underway to develop contact-tracing mobile applications utilising AI technologies,
  • development of predictive computer models of the course of the outbreak,
  • what further benefits AI technologies might offer in developing responses to the pandemic and exit strategies - both in the UK and internationally.

The agenda:

  • Developing the UK’s AI sector - progress so far and next steps for policy;
  • Addressing key ethical concerns around artificial intelligence:
    • Auditing the handling and use of data in AI development and assessing the key implications for privacy and data protection;
    • Addressing algorithmic bias in artificial intelligence - developing and promulgating best practice; and
    • Key legal and regulatory implications of the widespread uptake of AI technologies.
  • Research and development in AI technologies in the UK - funding, collaboration between universities and industry, and the talent pipeline;
  • Funding and investment in AI start-ups and scale-ups in the UK; and
  • Priorities for developing the UK’s commercial AI sector

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

It’s certainly the case with this one. Places have been reserved by officials from BEIS; the Cabinet Office; HM Treasury; the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation; DCMS; the Competition and Markets Authority; Department for International Trade; the Better Regulation Executive; Department for Transport; the Department of Health and Social Care; the Geospatial Commission; HM Revenue & Customs; Home Office; MHCLG and the Ministry of Defence.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

James Wise

Partner, Balderton Capital

Keynote Speakers

Gila Sacks

Director, Digital and Tech Policy, DCMS

Sana Khareghani

Head, Office for Artificial Intelligence

Professor Dame Wendy Hall

Regius Professor of Computer Science, University of Southampton; AI Skills Champion for the UK and Chair, Ada Lovelace Institute

James Wise

Partner, Balderton Capital


Sir Mark Hendrick MP

Vice-Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence

Stephen Metcalfe MP

Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence and Officer, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Diversity and Inclusion in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths


Senior speaker confirmed from the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation

Dhruv Ghulati

Chief Executive Officer, Factmata

David Frank

UK Government Affairs Manager, Microsoft UK

Dr David Snelling

Fujitsu Fellow and Programme Director, Artificial Intelligence, Fujitsu

Cerys Wyn Davies

Partner, Pinsent Masons

Jeni Tennison

Chief Executive Officer, Open Data Institute