I began working in technology as a public affairs account manager in a new business unit created to look at technology issues and e-business. This started my love of technology issues. I then joined the CBI where I managed the first ever e-business council and was senior policy advisor on information security. I stayed in cyber security for many years leading Symantec’s Government relations programme for UK and Ireland. In 2015, I became the first head of big data, cloud and mobile programme for techUK. Since then, I have worked hard to ensure techUK is the single point of contact for businesses, media, Government and other key stakeholders on data-related issues, promoting the value of data, analytics and now AI in the UK economy and society.
There have been so many highlights over the years, but being recognised last year in an industry list of the most influential women in UK tech was really a special moment. It was great not only to be included in this list along with so many tech leaders, but also to see so many women working in technology in 2018 (although we still need a lot more) compared to when I started working in the industry.
My advice would be always to say, “yes” to opportunities when they come up. Whether its speaking at an event, attending a meeting, doing a press interview, just say, “yes”, do your homework, be confident and go for it! I expected 2018 to be the year that everyone wanted to talk about how the UK can realise the full economic and social potential of AI - and it was!
It’s going to be a busy year as more and more organisations across both the public and private sector look to data-driven solutions and advanced data innovation to help achieve their goals. The increased adoption and deployment of data-driven technologies, such as predictive analytics and machine learning, will mean the digital ethics debate will become more mainstream and relevant to all organisations across the whole of the UK in 2019. The ethical issues and questions raised by the use of data technologies will be an important issue for industry this year and will be key to building greater trust and confidence in data-driven technologies by customers and consumers.
The UK has a real opportunity to lead the world in the digital ethics debate that is now happening not just here, but across Europe and the rest of the world. Not only has the UK been leading this discussion, we have also seen real practical action with the creation of bodies including the Government’s Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation and the Nuffield Foundation’s Ada Lovelace Institute. Now that these bodies and other initiatives are in place, I am optimistic that 2019 will be the year that we move digital ethics out of the conference room and into the boardroom and community halls across the UK, making digital ethics relevant to everyone in 2019. Business and professional services inc. recruitment