Sightline International Advisor Paul Copping talking about APPG AI in the UK
Paul Copping, Sightline’s International Advisor, spoke before the Houses of Parliament in the UK at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence (APPG AI) Evidence Meeting for Data Governance: Collection & Use. We asked Paul about his participation at the APPG AI meeting and he had this to share with us.
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT APPG AI AND WHY THIS MEETING WAS HELD?
There are many hundreds of All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) which are used to gather information informally for the UK Parliament. They are open to both Houses (Commons and Lords) and to all political parties. This one on Artificial Intelligence has been running for since January 2017 and its stated purpose is:
“To explore the impact and implications of artificial intelligence including machine learning.”
APPG AI has just started a new phase in which it will look at two threads of evidence - data governance and citizen engagement. The first meeting to gather data governance evidence from a panel was on Monday 28th January 2019 in Committee Room 1 of the Houses of Parliament (see photo). I took part in the panel as a representative of Sightline Innovation. I have been an advisor to the company since December 2018.
HOW WAS IT THAT YOU WERE INVITED TO ATTEND AND SPEAK ON THE PANEL?
I responded to a public call for experts last year and I was one of five initial appointments to the data governance task force. The organisers also invited me to speak on the panel at the first meeting, alongside Dame Wendy Hall, Professor of AI at the University of Southampton; Dr Jeni Tennison, CEO of the Open Data Institute; Roger Taylor, CEO of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation; Lauren Sager Weinstein, CDO of Transport for London; and Prof Birgitte Andersen, CEO of Big Society, who provide the group secretariat.
The members of the new data governance task force as announced are:
Andy Forrester, Director HypeAccelerator Solutions
Rachel Free, Patent Attorney, CMS
Christine Chow, Director, HERMES Investment Management
Rumman Chowdhury, Global Lead for Responsible AI, Accenture
Paul Copping, Advisor, Sightline Innovation
WHAT KEY THEMES / TOPICS WERE DISCUSSED?
There were some pre-published focus questions around how data is currently collected on individuals, whether the system is fit for purpose and who should own the data. The contributions and Q&A added up to a much wider discussion on how data trusts will be deployed.
Dame Wendy Hall spoke about her recent (Dec 18) paper “The Four Internets”, published at Canada’s Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), comparing different geopolitical models she called authoritarian (China), commercial (DC), bourgeois (Brussels) and open (West coast). This led to a good discussion of alternative national policy models.
Dr Jeni Tennison, CEO of the Open Data Institute, spoke about the need for data trusts, recognising that the academic world has many interpretations of their architecture.
There were many references to General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which provides a robust protection for citizen but is not yet widely used as a proactive tool. In particular, it turned out that only one person present (out of around 100 data governance professionals and enthusiasts) had ever exercised their powers under Article 17 of GDPR, the Right to Erasure, or the right to be forgotten.
Baron (David) Willett, a former UK Government Minister for Universities and Science, asked if the routine practice of data anonymisation risked losing the individual insights to provide fully personalised services. Discussion followed on the benefits of holding personal data with consent, when protected by the policies of a data trust.
The recent case of Molly Russell, a 14 year old British girl who committed suicide in 2017, was very prominent in the press the day before the meeting, since it had recently been discovered that just before her death she received very specific pictures and videos of suicide on her social media feed. This created a shared recognition that online protection of children and vulnerable adults is a very urgent priority. The Secretary of State for Health had promised legislation the previous day. The question arose as to how such legislation might be enforceable without a data trust structure.
Several of the senior participants, including Dr Jeni Tennison and the APPG Chairman Lord (Timothy) Clement-Jones, had visited Toronto in November 2018 for a UK-Canada Colloquium on AI and Society.
There was wide recognition of Canada’s unique strengths in AI research and development.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT WERE THE KEY TAKE-AWAYS FROM THE MEETING?
Urgent reform is needed in the area of personal data governance.
GDPR powers have not yet been implemented by most individuals.
The current focus on suicide risk is triggering urgent government action to reach agreement with social media groups or introduce new legislation.
Machine learning analytics are more personal and actionable if data is used with consent and not anonymised
The market appetite for data trust solutions is increasing in intensity and urgency.
HOW DOES THIS APPLY TO THE WORK WE ARE DOING AT SIGHTLINE INNOVATION?
The market for data trust solutions is maturing quiet rapidly – and moving from academic proofs of concept to serious commercial and regulatory objectives.
Sightline Innovation is very early to market and already offers data trust solutions for individuals (SID) and for enterprises (SIMON).
As we participate in more of these governmental gatherings – and also with standards bodies and citizen groups – we will gain a deeper understanding of the market which will help inform our development road maps and commercial strategy. We will also become more widely recognised as first movers and thought leaders in the field.
The target outcome is a healthy and scalable business model – enabling an efficient data market place for personal services, with improved governance and protection for vulnerable citizens.
31st January 2019
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence (APPG AI) was set up in January 2017 with the aim to explore the impact and implications of Artificial Intelligence.
The first Evidence Meeting of 2019: DATA GOVERNANCE – COLLECTION AND USE was held January 28th, 2019. The goal was to have a conversation around raising awareness of how different players collect, manage, and use personal data.
For more information visit: APPG-AI
Related article: Paul Copping speaks at Parliament in UK