Local governments should look at opening up datasets they own, in a responsible manner, to private companies and entrepreneurs as they can come up with innovative solutions for the region or the country, London’s deputy mayor Rajesh Agrawal has said.
In the words of the deputy mayor, London is uniquely positioned in terms of infrastructure and support to work closely with private companies for the benefit of the city.
“London is one of the top cities in Europe when it comes to technology. Here finance meets tech and ideas, research find new life via our strong business ecosystem,” Agrawal said, adding that the local administration has been working with private organisations to outmanoeuvre the pandemic..
While speaking about the contributions of health organisations, startups and academic institutions in building technology solutions to fight Covid-19, the deputy mayor also said that London had one of the largest concentration of coders, researchers and experts in the field of artificial intelligence and blockchain.
Backing the use of responsible and ethical AI
Agarwal’s views on the responsible use of AI was backed by many other speakers including the world’s first AI minister Omar Sultan Al Olama who holds the office of Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, UAE.
The minister said that the pillar of UAE’s AI strategy was based on the acronym BRAIN which stands for building a responsible artificially intelligent nation. He further said that governments and organisations should carefully analyse the risk and benefits of deploying AI solutions and keep in mind if the solution will work towards the betterment of future generations.
Arunima Sarkar, Lead for AI at the Centre for fourth Industrial Revolution, India, World Economic Forum, also said that there was a need to develop policy frameworks for responsible and ethical use of data. Sarkar said that the World Economic Forum was working with the Indian government and institutions such as the Niti Aayog to deploy guidelines for ethical use of AI by companies and other organiastions operating in the country.
Sarkar’s views on ethical use of data was backed by JoAnn C. Stonier, chief digital officer of financial services company, Mastercard. Stoiner underlined the importance of checking for biases in machine learning models and AI solutions and said that biases could be counterproductive to the business goals of an organisation. She stressed that organisations could ensure the success of their solutions by putting up an AI framework in place that will perform quality control on the data being feed to the model.
All eyes on India for collaboration
In sync with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s objective of building a technology-first nation, Al Olama said that the UAE was closely working with the Indian government under its AI Bridge project to understand how both the countries can work on mutually beneficial projects. The minister said that the project also involved opening up the India market to AI companies from the UAE.
The deputy mayor of London also stressed on partnering with Indian companies for developing technology solutions and said that India was the second-highest investor in the UK for FY20.
India has also been in the sights of private organisations mostly due to its STEM talent pool. Daniel Jeavons, general manager for Data Science at Shell said that the company was expanding its AI residency programme to India. The programme looks at hiring and training AI experts outside the company to come up with new technology-led solutions for the energy sector.
Jeavons, while speaking about how Shell has been effectively managing its data goals, said that the coming years will see more organisations use more AI to tackle the data explosion.
Al Olama and Stoiner also backed his remarks and said that the push from Covid-19 and the roll out of 5G will ensure that the world uses more machine learning and AI to gain insights from a diverse datasets. “Covid-19 has accelerated the timeline of technology and what seemed as an achievable goal by 2025 was reduced to just a few months,” Al Olama said.