Capital to host Scotland’s inaugural Scottish AI summit

Kate Forbes MSP

ONE year on from the launch of Scotland’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the Scottish AI Alliance is set to host leading figures in government and the AI industry at its inaugural flagship conference, the Scottish AI Summit, this March. 

Delegates of the free-to-attend event will have the chance to participate in discussions, debates and workshops, as well as listen to content submitted by Scotland’s AI community and keynote talks by Scottish and internationally recognised AI experts.

Speakers include Irakli Beridze, the Head of the Centre for AI and Robotics at the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute; Professor Virginia Dignum, Wallenberg Chair of Responsible AI at Umeå University, Sweden; and Professor Annalu Waller, OBE, Academic Lead for Computing at Dundee University. Other keynote speakers include the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, Kate Forbes MSP.

Taking place online and in-person at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh on 30 March, delegates will also see the Scottish Government’s Chief Data Officer Albert King, launch the Scottish AI Playbook, an open and practical guide to AI development in Scotland. A year on from the launch of Scotland’s AI Strategy, the playbook will be a collaborative resource to help the people and businesses of Scotland on their AI journey.

In tandem, the Scottish AI Alliance will publish its State of AI report at the one-day conference, detailing the its progress in the delivery of the Strategy’s visions for Scotland to become a leader in the development and use of ethical, trustworthy and inclusive AI. 

The Scottish AI Alliance, the body tasked with the delivery of the strategy, involves a partnership between The Data Lab, Scotland’s Innovation Centre for Data and AI, and the Scottish Government.

Gillian Docherty OBE, Chair, Scottish AI Alliance, said: “The first Scottish AI Summit and the launch of Scotland’s AI Playbook mark important steps towards realising Scotland’s ambition of being a world leader in the development of inclusive, trustworthy and ethical AI. Many feel that integrating AI within their organisation or daily life is still out of reach, and so the launch of the playbook will help facilitate discussion and debate which will in turn help the industry move forward and promote best practice. It is also our hope that many more will be encouraged to turn to AI to help drive growth as we look to recover from the pandemic.”

Brian Hills, Interim CEO, The Data Lab, said: “AI will undoubtedly be a critical driver for growth as Scotland’s economy continues its recovery. This event will bring the AI community together for the first time to showcase cutting-edge innovation across the tech, academic and business ecosystem. We encourage businesses of all sizes that are either at the beginning of their transformational journey or currently using AI to join the AI Alliance for a day of inspiring keynote addresses, workshops and lively debate to help Scotland’s tech sector forward.”

Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said: “AI offers huge economic and social benefits for Scotland, and will play a vital role in supporting us to build a sustainable and prosperous economy.”

“Scotland is already home to a thriving tech sector and the Scottish Government launched the AI Strategy to strengthen our network of start-ups and smaller businesses.”

“We have established the Scottish AI Alliance to lead and encourage collaboration and innovation across sectors and are supporting the next generation of businesses and professionals to become leaders in AI.”

“The State of AI report sets out significant progress in delivering the Strategy and the launch of the Scottish AI Playbook will further promote and support this. Ongoing collaborative development will be important in helping make it more inclusive and internationally successful.”

In person tickets for the Scottish AI Summit are now sold out however more tickets may be released next month so you can add yourself to a waiting list at www.scottishaisummit.com. Delegates can also participate online by registering via this link: www.scottishaisummit.com.

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