Annual Engagement & Impact Report
Our work in artificial intelligence and machine learning is accelerating the ethical and responsible adoption and application of AI and ML by UK industry
I don’t think ChAI would exist without Digital Catapult. It provided the first external validation of our ideas, raised our profile and introduced us to an investor community that led directly to successfully closing our first round of funding.
Dr Tristan Fletcher
Founder and CEO, ChAI
Digital Catapult’s Machine Intelligence Garage provides startups with access to computation power and expertise to accelerate their development. For many small companies access to compute power and hardware is a major barrier to growth: this programme helps companies with a well-defined business idea and technical capability to overcome these challenges.
Giving thought to ethical and responsible development, alongside the desire for business growth, is a central consideration for any business that is developing AI or ML products or services. Shaping the technology so that it’s used appropriately and creates positive meaningful change for society will also give a competitive advantage.
Digital Catapult created an Ethics Framework specifically for small businesses. Made up of seven guiding principles, the framework is a practical guide to help startups and scaleups understand how to apply responsible and ethical concepts in practice.
It’s hard for startups and scaleups to test ethical solutions because their time and resources are limited, but they can reap the rewards more easily because they don’t have legacy infrastructure to hold them back from embedding ethical practices at the start.
To manage the practical roll out of the Ethics Framework and support startups and scaleups to embed ethical tools into their work, Digital Catapult established the Machine Intelligence Garage Ethics Committee, chaired by Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information & Digital Ethics Lab Director at University of Oxford.
This group of some of the foremost minds in AI and data ethics works directly with companies that are part of the Machine Intelligence Garage overseeing the development of principles and tools to facilitate responsible AI in practice – to bridge the gap between theory and practice, between the ‘what’ of responsible AI and the ‘how’.
Mentoring and advice for the Advisory Group; establishing and updating Committee principles
Assessing Machine Intelligence Garage applications, practical guidance and advice for companies, maintaining Ethics Committee principles