David Lane
Professor David Lane

A prominent academic from Heriot-Watt University has joined an independent expert committee to help steer the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) in the UK.

Founding Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, Professor David Lane joins leaders in business and data privacy organisations, as well as from academia, in his new role on the UK Government’s AI Council.

This is an important time in the evolution and application of this most disruptive and groundbreaking of technologies.

Professor David Lane

The newly appointed members will help put in place the right skills, ethics and data so the UK can make the most of AI technologies.

Professor David Lane, said: “I am delighted to be asked to join the UK Government Artificial Intelligence Council. This is an important time in the evolution and application of this most disruptive and groundbreaking of technologies. Such bodies have an essential convening power and therefore an important role to play in developing the UK’s capabilities. Skills, investment, signposting, co-ordination, challenges, R&D, standards, certification, regulation, and ethics are just some of the focus areas where we must engage.

“We want the UK to be the best place in the world to start or grow a digital business that makes our economy and our industries more productive. I look forward to working with colleagues on the Council and the Government office for AI in this important endeavour.”

The AI Council aims to cultivate and encourage a much wider representation of experts to focus on specific topics which will initially include, but are not limited to, data and 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.

Other sitting representatives on the Council include AI for Good founder Kriti Sharma and UKRI Chief Executive Mark Walport.

Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright announced the line-up of the Council during his speech recently at the Vivatech Summit, Paris, where he spoke about the importance of responsible tech and promoting British technology.

He 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.”