RSS in parliament to advise on implications of algorithms and AI

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The Royal Statistical Society has been invited to give evidence to two select committees in the House of Commons and the House of Lords regarding separate inquiries on algorithms and artificial intelligence respectively.

RSS president Sir David Spiegelhalter will be answering questions in the Lords on 19 December on the implications of artificial intelligence. He was invited after the RSS contributed written evidence to the inquiry.

In its written submission, the RSS urged the government to strengthen the UK skills base in this area and scoping the long-term implications of the rise of data science skills, as recommended by Sir Adrian Smith in his recent review of post-16 maths education in England. We also recommended that the newly formed UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) prioritise capabilties in statistics, data science and AI.

RSS executive director Hetan Shah will be assisting the House of Commons Select Committee inquiry on the use of algorithms in decision making by answering questions from MPs on 14 November.

This follows our written submission to the Commons inquiry, in which we press for establishing an independent Data Ethics Council. We also recommend that efforts be made to learn from sectors that currently utilise algorithms, such as the credit scoring industry; and that professional standards for data science are developed.

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UPDATE: The session regarding the Commons' inquiry on the use of algorithms in decision making is now available to watch on Parliament TV.

Science and Technology Committee