UK Policymakers urged to get “AI-ready”

London, 30 September 2019 - Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, has called for a radical rethink from government and policymakers to ensure the UK is “AI-ready” for the sweeping economic and societal changes being driven by Artificial Intelligence.

The call is a result of the report ‘Data ethics and the application of AI’, published today (Sunday 29 September) in partnership with not-for-profit think tank Onward, which has unearthed a severe lack of public confidence in AI, threatening to stall advancements and derail the UK Government’s ambition to lead the world in the technology.

The report is a summary of a series of roundtable events held in the Houses of Parliament in Spring/Summer 2019 involving leading parliamentarians, industry professionals, start-ups, regulators, and experts to explore the implications of AI and machine learning, and how policymakers should best respond.

Three critical areas have been exposed for policymakers and practitioners to focus their energies if the UK Government is to build public trust and achieve its ambition to lead the world in AI; communication, accountability and accessibility.

Kulveer Ranger, Senior Vice President – Strategy & Communications, Atos UK & Ireland, said:
“While the future power of AI is still to be fully defined, we already know that it will shape advancements in every field, from science and medicine to space exploration and energy, and will result in a complete remodeling of our society. With such sweeping changes incoming, it is crucial for the UK to be AI-ready for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Our politicians must appreciate the size of the change, think about the long-term future, and start to establish the policy frameworks and new public bodies which will work in tandem with those who will design and deliver our future world.

“If predictions about the potential of AI are to be realised, then everyone is going to be a stakeholder of this technology. As such, there needs to be room in the AI and ethics conversation for all who wish to contribute – from small businesses and start-ups, to multinationals and digital leaders. That will help address public trust and ensure developments can continue.”

Will Tanner, Director, Onward added: “Policy makers are still not having the AI debate with the urgency it deserves, and until that happens technological progress will be stunted. It’s clear that AI can be a force for good, but a considerable challenge remains ahead to communicate its worth and cement its place in society.”

Sean Narayanan, SEVP, Head of Business and Platform Solutions at Atos added:“The explosion of Artificial Intelligence in every aspect of the economy and society is having profound implications. Major political action is needed if public trust is to be gained and if we are to avoid a backlash that could put the brakes on the industry for years to come.”

Notes to the Editor:

Attached is the Data ethics and the application of AI summary report.

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About Atos
Atos is a global leader in digital transformation with over 110,000 employees in 73 countries and annual revenue of over € 11 billion. European number one in Cloud, Cybersecurity and High-Performance Computing, the Group provides end-to-end Orchestrated Hybrid Cloud, Big Data, Business Applications and Digital Workplace solutions. The group is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic & Paralympic Games and operates under the brands Atos, Atos Syntel, and Unify. In the UK & Ireland Atos delivers business technology solutions for some of the country’s largest public and private sector organisations. Atos is a SE (Societas Europaea), listed on the CAC40 Paris stock index.

The purpose of Atos is to help design the future of the information technology space. Its expertise and services support the development of knowledge, education as well as multicultural and pluralistic approaches to research that contribute to scientific and technological excellence. Across the world, the group enables its customers, employees and collaborators, and members of societies at large to live, work and develop sustainably and confidently in the information technology space.


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