New research reveals the most pressing opportunities and obstacles to trusted innovation in data and AI

  • CDEI survey of nearly 1,000 companies reveals how AI and data are being used across the UK – and highlights areas where there is the most innovation.

  • CDEI’s AI Barometer, informed by the insight of more than 80 industry experts, highlights the most pressing opportunities and challenges for trusted innovation.

  • New research follows the release of CDEI’s AI Insurance Ecosystem Roadmap, which outlines the steps needed to create an ecosystem of leading products and services that can empower organizations great confidence to invest in AI.

A major new survey of UK businesses, commissioned by the Center for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI), the government body of experts on trusted innovation in data and AI, has revealed the importance of ” help businesses adapt to an increasingly data-driven world.

The survey highlights large variations in the penetration of data-driven technologies across all sectors of the economy. For example, while there is comparatively less adoption of data-driven technologies in healthcare companies (12%), the industry has the highest proportion of intensive use of AI (10 %). This contrasts with digital and communications companies, where one in five (21%) companies use data-driven technologies, but only one in 20 (5%) use these technologies extensively.

This research reveals a series of obstacles that, when overcome, will allow the UK to build on its solid foundations and seize the opportunities presented by greater adoption of data-driven technologies.

The main obstacles identified in the research relate to data access and sharing. More than two-thirds (70%) of businesses said they wanted more information to help them navigate the often complex legal requirements around data collection, use and sharing. Almost a quarter (23%) of companies cited difficulty accessing quality data as a barrier to innovation, while almost half of companies (43%) noted limited technological capabilities. These findings correspond to recent research published by DCMS on barriers to accessing data in the economy.

The CDEI also released the second edition of its AI Barometer, an analysis of the most pressing opportunities and risks associated with AI and the use of data. Drawing on the advice of more than 80 expert panelists, the report identifies areas where there are untapped opportunities for innovation in three key sectors that have been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • In Transport and logisticsThese include opportunities to improve energy efficiency, reduce emissions and achieve better environmental outcomes, as well as smooth trade flows at borders.

  • In recruitment and employment contexts, data-driven innovation has the potential to improve talent pools, enable better access to employment opportunities and reduce prejudice and discrimination.

  • In education, data-driven innovation was seen to have the potential to reduce the administrative burden on teachers and increase social mobility.

The CDEI is already taking steps to help the UK seize these opportunities. Last week, he outlined the steps needed to create an ecosystem of leading products and services that can verify that AI systems are efficient, reliable, and compliant with regulations. These tools will help give organizations the confidence they need to invest in and reap the benefits of AI. The CDEI is also working closely with the Office for Artificial Intelligence on the upcoming AI White Paper, which will highlight the role of insurance both as a means of risk management based on AI. market and as a complement to regulation, which will enable industry to ensure that AI systems meet their regulatory obligations.

Building on lessons from the AI ​​Barometer, last week, new industry-led guidance on the responsible use of AI in recruiting was released by the Confederation for Recruitment and Employment , developed in partnership with the CDEI.

The CDEI also works alongside DCMS teams to implement the national data strategy and enable reliable access to quality data, exploring new approaches to data governance (such as data intermediaries) and emerging technical solutions (notably thanks to a new R&D effort between the UK and the US for mature privacy enhancement technologies, announced last week). The government recently released a policy framework outlining its approach to unleashing the value of data across the economy, in order to achieve Mission 1 of the National Data Strategy.

Edwina Dunn, Interim President of the Center for Data Ethics and Innovation, said:

Data and AI can help tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time. To achieve this, we must overcome obstacles to innovation, such as poor data, and tackle risks such as algorithmic bias. CDEI works in partnership with various organizations to help them overcome these obstacles, mitigate risks, and practice high-level ethical principles – such as accountability and transparency. It’s hands-on work like this that will allow us to build public confidence in the way data and AI are used.

Chris Philp MP, Minister of Technology and Digital Economy at the Ministry of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, said:

Data and AI can be harnessed to support our economic and social recovery as we seek to rebuild better. Understanding how we can best use technology to cope with major changes in labor markets and the ways we work, deliver education or decarbonize our transport infrastructure, will be crucial for this mission. I look forward to working with organizations across the UK to overcome the innovation barriers highlighted in CDEI’s analysis, so the UK can unleash the full potential of data and data. IA.


Jessica bancroft

07831 166111

[email protected]

Notes to Editors:

  • The CDEI is a governmental body of expertise allowing a reliable use of data and AI. Its multidisciplinary team of specialists, supported by an advisory board of world-renowned experts, works in partnership with organizations to propose, test and refine reliable approaches to data governance and AI.

  • To produce the report, the CDEI carried out an in-depth review of the political and academic literature and brought together more than 80 experts. The CDEI used a new comparative survey to allow panelists to meaningfully assess a large number of technological impacts; the results of which fed into a series of workshops. It also asked Ipsos MORI to investigate 965 companies in eight industries between March and May 2021, including suppliers, users and non-users of data-driven technologies.

  • In June 2020, the CDEI released the first edition of its AI Barometer, which assessed the opportunities, risks and governance challenges associated with AI and the use of data in five key sectors (including including criminal justice, financial services, health and social services, digital and social media, energy and utilities).

  • CDEI’s 2021/22 work program focuses on three areas, aligned with the priorities defined in the National Data Strategy: enabling reliable access and sharing of data; build a strong AI insurance ecosystem in the UK; and supporting the delivery of transformative data and AI projects in the public sector.

Comments are closed.