About us

15 May 2018

The Ada Lovelace Institute is an independent research and deliberative body with a mission to ensure data and AI work for people and society.

The Ada Lovelace Institute will promote informed public understanding of the impact of AI and data-driven technologies on different groups in society.

Ada will guide ethical practice in the development and deployment of these technologies, and will undertake research and long-term thinking to lay the foundations for a data-driven society with well-being at its core.

Aims

Ada has three core aims:

  1. Build evidence and foster rigorous research and debate on how data and AI affect people and society.
  2. Convene diverse voices to create a shared understanding of the ethical issues arising from data and AI.
  3. Define and inform good practice in the design and deployment of data and AI.

Approach

In delivering those aims, the Institute will:

  • Be outward-facing and collaborative, acting independently of vested interests, and transparent about relationships and funding.
  • Be at the forefront of developing change needed to improve people’s lives, through a focus on: rights-based approaches; establishing norms; influencing professional practice; technological innovation; regulation and the law; and public dialogue.
  • Recognise the potential value of data, algorithms, and AI for individual and social well-being, taking account of human capacity to adapt and respond to new technological challenges.
  • Combine reflective deliberation and rigorous research with the need to respond to a rapidly evolving social, technological and economic context.
  • Work with other organisations to situate its work in a global context.
  • Ada will provide expert, independent commentary on the ethical and social impacts of data, algorithms and AI, to inform the thinking of governments, industry, public bodies and civil society organisations in the UK and globally.

Read our prospectus to find out more about the work of the Ada Lovelace Institute.

Our Board

The Nuffield Foundation has appointed the first board members to lead the strategic development of Ada.

The appointments follow an open recruitment process overseen by the Executive Chair of the Ada Lovelace Institute, Sir Alan Wilson. The new board members are:

  • Alix Dunn, a social entrepreneur, advisor, and strategist specialising at the intersections of technology and impact.
  • Helen Margetts, Professor of Society and the Internet at the Oxford Internet Institute, and Turing Fellow and Programme Director for Public Policy at The Alan Turing Institute.
  • Huw Price, Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy, Academic Director of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, and co-founder of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge.
  • Hetan Shah, Executive Director of the Royal Statistical Society and Visiting Professor at the Policy Institute, Kings College London.

The board members each bring distinctive perspectives, skillsets, and networks. In addition to leading the strategic development of the Ada Lovelace Institute, the board will help to secure its long-term sustainability. Board members will also identify questions or projects relating to the use of data and AI for investigation and deliberation, and will take a leading role in the exploration of those questions through working groups.

The Nuffield Foundation will appoint additional board members in 2019 to ensure representation from different sectors and disciplines.

Partnerships

Ada was established by the Nuffield Foundation in early 2018, in collaboration with the Alan Turing Institute, the Royal Society, the British Academy, the Royal Statistical Society, the Wellcome Trust, the Omidyar Network for Citizens and Governance, techUK and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.