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Ada Lovelace Institute 2020

A look at everything we’ve done to try to make data and AI work for people and society.

18 December 2020

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Establishing a new research institute and deliberative body in the multiple challenges of 2020 has provided the conditions to evidence beyond doubt that there is a purposeful role for the Ada Lovelace Institute. 

The year has, of course, been dominated by efforts to contain the pandemic and our thoughts go out to everyone whose lives have been affected by COVID-19. 

Circumstances have meant that we’ve focused more on the harms than the benefits of emerging technologies, and we hope for better conditions in 2021. Here is a quick look at everything we’ve done to try to make data and AI work for people and society. 

January

In January we launched the Rethinking Data programme, part of our work on Data for the public good. The programme identified three areas of investigation: regulation, practices and narratives. 

We also hosted the ‘Facial recognition and biometrics – technology and ethics’ event at the British Academy, hosted jointly with the Foundation for Science and Technology and chaired by Baroness Beeban Kidron OBE, launched the Ryder Review into the governance of biometric data.

February

Dr Alison Powell launched the AHRC and Ada Lovelace Institute partnership, the JUST AI network. JUST AI has this year established and mapped a network of researchers and practitioners to join up the study of AI and data-driven technologies with understandings of social and ethical values, impacts and interests, and built on and extended research into AI ethics

The first meetings of the Citizens’ Biometrics Council took place in Bristol, Brighton and Manchester, to bring the public’s voice into the debate on technologies which collect and process biometric data, like live facial recognition and digital fingerprinting.

We published our strategy and workplan for 2020, with a commitment to 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.

March

We published findings from the Foundations of Fairness for NHS health data sharing project, conducted in collaboration with Understanding Patient Data at the Wellcome Trust, using public deliberation to build evidence on how the public expects the NHS and third-party organisations to steward their data. 

April

In the peak of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we published a rapid evidence review of the technical considerations and societal implications of using technology to transition from the first COVID-19 lockdown.

Throughout May 2020, while the UK was in lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, together with Traverse, Involve and Bang the Table, we conducted rapid, online deliberation with 28 members of the public on COVID-19 exit strategies. 
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/project/rapid-online-deliberation-on-covid-19-technologies/ 

June - Ada curates 'Ethics & Society' at CogX 2020

Ada Lovelace curates ‘Ethics & Society’ at CogX 2020

July

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Text about what we did in July

Text about what we did in August

September

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The Citizens’ Biometrics Council concluded its deliberations and made recommendations 

October

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Text about what we did in October

November

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Text about what we did in November

December

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Test on what we did in December

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