A ‘leadership circle’ has been formed to help drive Scotland’s artificial intelligence (AI) ambitions.

The new membership group comprises industry leaders and academics, working alongside public sector officials to boost adoption of data and AI at a national level.

The focus will be on utilising the technology in a way that is ‘trustworthy, ethical and inclusive’ and supports government economic policy.

The Scottish AI Alliance Leadership Circle will work to deliver the new artificial intelligence strategy, including the development of the AI Playbook, an open and practical guide which aims to help the public, industry, public sector and academia understand and realise the benefits offered by artificial intelligence. Members of the Scottish AI Alliance Leadership Circle met for the first time on Monday 7 June. 

Economy secretary Kate Forbes said: “We are committed to seizing Scotland’s economic potential, creating secure, sustainable and satisfying jobs and supporting businesses recover from the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Our response to the pandemic will be driven by an ambitious programme to build a modern, high-tech economy while staying true to enduring values of fairness and compassion.

“I am delighted the Alliance’s Leadership Circle has such a dynamic, incisive, international and representative membership to drive forward delivery of our strategy and help further develop and strengthen our AI ecosystem over the next five years. By working together we can maximise the potential economic and social benefits of artificial intelligence and send a strong signal to the world about our ambitions for Scotland.

“Transforming our economy must be a national endeavour and that is why we have called on anybody who wants to play their part in rebuilding our country. The Scottish Government is committed to working in partnership with the entrepreneurs and thinkers, the job creators and the hard workers to help achieve economic transformation.”

Chair of the Scottish AI Alliance Gillian Docherty OBE said: “We were delighted with the response to the publication of Scotland’s AI Strategy and the breadth and experience of those who applied to join the Leadership Circle.  We are excited to host our first meeting and the members will bring a wealth of strengths to the Leadership Circle which will oversee all the work required to deliver the strategy.”

“Significant interest in contributing to the Delivery and Community Circles has also been very welcome and we look forward to delivering on the commitments set out in the strategy.”

Members of the Leadership Circle are:

  • Gillian Docherty OBE, CEO of The Data Lab and Chair of the Scottish AI Alliance Leadership Circle
  • Ms Rachel Aldighieri, Data & Marketing Association
  • Dr Christopher Austin, Kheiron Medical Technologies
  • Mr Michael Boniface, Opportunity North East
  • Mrs Catriona Campbell, EY
  • Mrs Joanna Campbell, Dumfries and Galloway College
  • Prof David Harrison, University of St Andrews/iCAIRD
  • Dr Ewa Luger, University of Edinburgh/Alan Turing Institute
  • Dr Julie McElroy
  • Ms Sam Rhynas, Effini
  • Prof Michael Rovatsos, University of Edinburgh
  • Prof Marian Scott, University of Glasgow
  • Mr Callum Sinclair, Burness Paull LLP