The Scottish government has selected the Data Lab to lead the development of a new national strategy on artificial intelligence, designed to unlock an additional £13 billion in economic output and drive the use of the technology to improve consumers’ well-being across the country.
The Data Lab, which will be impartial, will oversee the development process, including the co-ordination of the steering committee, chaired by Digital Economy Minister Kate Forbes.
Some 15 members from representative bodies across Scotland will feature on the steering committee, including SCDI, ScotlandIS, the Scottish Informatics & Computer Science Alliance, the Federation of Small Businesses and Creative Scotland.
One of the committee’s first tasks before the strategy’s launch in September 2020 will be to develop a scoping document that will be released for open consultation in early 2020.
People across Scotland will also be given a chance to have their say in the process, with a “comprehensive” stakeholder engagement programme being delivered by the Democratic Society.
Six working groups will draw upon a range of contributors from a host of diverse backgrounds. These will focus largely on set themes such as public services, ethics, government, education and engagement. Participants will work on developing recommendations for each specific theme that will feed into the final strategy.
Minister Kate Forbes said: “Scotland is well placed to harness the potential of artificial intelligence to benefit our citizens, economy, public services and society.
“I look forward to working with the Data Lab and others to produce a strategy that sets out our ambitions, principles and priorities and helps us to use AI to the advantage of Scotland and its people.”
Data Lab chief executive Gillian Docherty added: “As an organisation, we completely align ourselves with the Government’s vision of ensuring the future AI Strategy has Scotland’s people at its very core.
"Throughout the development stages, we are committed to making sure that people’s voices are heard and that their opinions, beliefs and priorities make up the fabric of the strategy.
“The creation of such a strategy shows once again that Scotland has the potential to become a world-leader in the fields of data science and artificial intelligence, but that importantly we don’t lose sight of what’s important to our citizens in the process. This is an exciting time in Scotland’s history and it is vital Scotland’s people have their say in its future.”