Editorial

THINKing about the public sector’s future? Then you have to THINK AI for Public Sector

As the firing pistol of Article 50 echoes through both the UK and Europe, what role will advanced tech play in our future outside the EU?

Posted 30 March 2017 by

In the light of this week’s historic triggering of Article 50, it’s clear that investment in the future of the UK is more vital than ever.

AI (artificial intelligence), robotics and other forms of advanced automation have already been identified by the government as key to a successful Brexit for UK industry.

But it’s also emerging as a factor in the future of the public sector, too, with debates opening up about how AI could be harnessed to aid the delivery of next generation public services – as well as the possible impact on the employment prospects of tomorrow’s teachers, health workers and civil servants; some estimates say more than 850,000 jobs could be lost by 2030 thanks to these technologies.

To help clarify these issues for public sector professionals, THINK Digital Partners has created a new landmark event – THINK AI for Public Sector 2017.

With a date (Friday 23 June) and a venue (the Business Design Centre, Islington) already decided, the organisers have this week released details of what already seems like a very full one-day agenda.

The day starts with high-level decision-making scene setting placing the move to AI in the context of current government policy and industrial strategy, then moves on to a set of compelling individual sessions.

These include the use of chatbots in local government (Enfield Borough Council) featuring the internal lead for the project, Rocco Labellarte, Assistant Director of Information Technology at the authority, and AI as part of a comprehensive digital transformation programme.

Other sessions will offer in-depth analysis of how whole-scale adoption of AI in central government might look like.

Speakers are fast being signed up to complete an agenda designed to offer a complete snap-shot of all that’s really going to matter to stakeholders in public sector IT procurement and delivery, promise the organisers. Ones that are already confirmed include Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on AI, who will be a leading voice in a special Societal Impact of AI session, and Eleonora Harwich, AI Research Specialist at the Reform Think Tank, who will be discussing her organisation’s research on the impact of AI at the heart of the current British state.

“After Brexit, AI is the next hottest topic in public sector IT right now,” said Matt Stanley, THINK Digital Partners Director.

“In response, we intend to run a conference that highlights the opportunities Artificial Intelligence can offer, as well as highlighting some of the societal factors that must be considered as technology advances.

“We realise that the conference is likely to produce more questions than answers, but we are in the process of recruiting the best possible speakers to share their expert knowledge and lead discussions on the day.

“We are already engaging with great speakers and exciting potential sponsors, and as a result we expect Think AI for Public Sector to be one of the most engaging THINK Digital Partners conferences to date.”

We look forward to meeting you in Islington to debate this most promising, yet also for some observers troubling and unpredictable, social and technology trend.

Please go here for full details of the conference, as well as to secure your FREE place if you are a public sector professional.

We’ll be sharing more details of the show as they evolve – please keep an eye on our Editorial pages in the weeks to come.