Insights Centre for Data, Ethics and Innovation publishes two-year review

The CDEI has published a two-year review as the tenure of the first Chair and Board of the CDEI comes to an end. In the report, the CDEI reflects on how the world has changed since it was set up in November 2018, what has been learned from the research and projects it has led (including its major reviews into online targeting and bias in algorithmic decision-making), and how lessons learned shape where the CDEI now needs to focus to continue delivering its mission.

The CDEI highlights three recurring challenges that have emerged from its work, which government, industry and the regulatory ecosystem need to tackle as a priority:

  1. developing and maintaining accountability when deploying data-driven technologies;
  2. addressing the transparency and explain-ability of data-driven systems; and
  3. improving access to high quality data in a way that is trustworthy.

Over the next year, the CDEI will prioritise three themes in its work, to help foster responsible innovation at pace, and address the challenges highlighted above:

  1. data sharing: the CDEI will facilitate responsible data sharing across the economy, including piloting new forms of data stewardship and governance;
  2. public sector innovation: the CDEI will support and facilitate the responsible development, deployment and use of AI and data across the public sector, with a focus on the highest impact use-cases; and
  3. AI assurance: the CDEI will help lay the foundations for the development of a strong AI assurance ecosystem in the UK, helping organisations to have confidence to innovate responsibly with AI and data, by fostering an emerging industry in AI assurance services.

The CDEI says that this work will be informed by multidisciplinary capabilities, with expertise in data policy, public engagement, and technical understanding.

Separately, DCMS has published a letter from Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for DCMS, to Roger Taylor, outgoing Chair of the CDEI, with updates on how insights from the CDEI’s reviews into online targeting and bias in algorithmic decision-making have informed the Government’s work programme. Both reports are continuing to inform and influence government policy. Further developments in these areas will be announced in due course.

Finally, the consultation on the National Data Strategy sought views on the CDEI’s proposed future functions (which included partnership working, providing practical support for interventions in the tech landscape, and monitoring uses of AI and data-driven technologies) and statutory status. DCMS will release further detail on this in the coming period, along with an updated work programme, and announcement about the new Chair and refreshed Board of the CDEI. To access the two-year review and Oliver Dowden’s letter, click here.