Data science and AI technologies for everyone’s benefit

The Alan Turing Institute is committed to using data science and AI technologies for everyone’s benefit, and to protect society against these technologies’ unintended consequences.

This page provides an overview of the wide range of initiatives in the field of data ethics taking place at the Institute.

Data Ethics Group

The Data Ethics Group, chaired by Turing Fellow Luciano Floridi, leads our data ethics research. The Group works in collaboration with the broader data science community, facilitates public dialogue on relevant topics, and supports the Turing’s workshops and public events relating to data ethics.

Ethics Advisory Group

The Institute’s Ethics Advisory Group (EAG) is chaired by Kirstie Whitaker, Programme Lead for Tools, Practices and Systems. The groups ensures that research conducted across the Institute confirms to high ethical standards, equivalent to the ethics approval process of a university. The Group consists of Turing academics as well as representatives from the Institute’s Partnerships Team and student body.

Public policy programme

The Public policy programme works alongside policy makers to explore how data-driven public service provision and policy innovation might solve long running ‘wicked’ policy problems and to develop the ethical foundations for the use of data science and artificial intelligence in policy-making. Among its many projects, the programme has delivered the UK's official public sector guidance on the ethics and safety of artificial intelligence and has studied the ethics of machine learning applications in children's social care. The programme also works closely with the Data Ethics Group and the Ethics Advisory Group.

Fairness, transparency and privacy interest group

The fairness, transparency and privacy interest group, led by Turing Fellow Adrian Weller, includes experts in machine learning, security, causal inference and algorithm design. The group examines issues relating to fairness, transparency and privacy of algorithmic systems, aiming to develop new technical approaches and inform the broader ethical discussion.

The Alan Turing Institute is partnering with the Nuffield Foundation on a new £5 million Ada Lovelace Institute to examine profound ethical and social issues arising from the use of data, algorithms, and artificial intelligence, and to ensure they are harnessed for social well-being. This independent body, launched in 2018, will seek to ensure that the power of data – and the automated technologies that augment it – is harnessed to promote prosperity, both for society as a whole and for different groups within it.

Developing an ethical framework for explaining AI decision-making

A recent independent review, Growing the artificial intelligence industry in the UK, recommended that The Alan Turing Institute work with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to develop a framework for explaining the processes, services and decisions delivered by AI. The Institute has welcomed this recommendation, and in conjunction with the ICO, has started work on creating this framework.

Learn about data ethics at the Turing

Attend our data ethics events or watch past seminars and masterclasses below.