DeepMind CEO to advise UK government’s new Office for AI

Demis Hassabis, CEO and co-founder of leading AI research firm, DeepMind, has this week been named as the first adviser to the UK government’s new Office for Artificial Intelligence (AI).

By
Tonya
Stewart

Globally renowned AI expert Dr Demis Hassabis, CEO and co-founder of leading AI research company DeepMind, has been named as the first adviser to the UK government’s new Office for Artificial Intelligence.

Hassabis, who founded DeepMind with Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman in 2010 before selling it on to Google four years later, will advise the government on building the skills and capability needed for the UK to embrace the benefits of the technology, while minimising the risks.

‘I’m honoured to be taking on the role of Adviser to the Office for AI and look forward to the huge opportunity that lies ahead,” said Hassabis. “I’ve always believed that AI could be one of the most important and widely beneficial breakthroughs of the 21st century. Alongside the research, I’m very excited about the role the UK can play in making the case globally for AI’s safe and ethical deployment.”

Speaking at the opening of the London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement last month, digital secretary Matt Hancock also announced that Professor Dame Wendy Hall, an AI expert who co-authored a government report on the sector last year, will become Skills Champion for AI and Tabitha Goldstaub, co-founder of leading AI company CognitionX, an online platform which provides companies with information and access to AI experts to boost their business, will become the chair and spokesperson for the AI Council, a new industry body tasked with increasing growth in the AI sector and promoting its adoption in other sectors of the economy.

“We want to harness the best possible AI leadership to help us seize this opportunity,” said Hancock. “Demis Hassabis, Tabitha Goldstaub and Wendy Hall have the expertise and vision to help us make sure the huge benefits of this powerful new technology are available to everyone.”

This week’s appointments follow Ofqual chair, Roger Taylor, being confirmed as the chair of the new UK Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, new plans for an AI masters scheme and a commitment to develop a new National Data Strategy.

Research suggests that AI could add £654bn (€739bn approx.) to the UK economy by 2035 and the country has already been recognised as the number one place in the developed world in readiness for AI.

Dr Dominic King, Clinical Lead at DeepMind, will deliver the opening keynote, AI-enabled healthcare: potential and challenges, at HIMSS IMPACT 18, 17-19 October 2018. See the event website for more information.

Tonya Stewart

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