About us

We're tasked by the Government to connect policymakers, industry, civil society, and the public to develop the right governance regime for data-driven technologies.

Overview

The adoption of data-driven technology affects every aspect of our society, and its use is creating opportunities as well as new ethical challenges. The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) is an independent advisory body set up and tasked by the UK Government to advise on how we maximise the benefits of these technologies.

We bring people together from across sectors and society to shape practical recommendations for the government, as well as advice for regulators, and industry, that support responsible innovation and help build a strong, trustworthy system of governance.

We have a unique role with a cross-sector remit. We are a connector between government and wider society, and have a unique mandate to advise the government. We convene and build on the UK’s vast expertise in governing complex technology, innovation-friendly regulation and its global strength in research and academia.

We aim to give the public a voice in how data-driven technology is governed, promoting the trust that’s crucial for the UK to make the most of AI and data-driven technology.

Our work this year

We aim to analyse and anticipate the opportunities and risks posed by data-driven technology and put forward practical and evidence-based recommendations to address them.

Review of online targeting

In February 2020, we published a review of online targeting, investigating how data is used to shape people’s online environments via the personalisation and targeting of messages, content and services online.

AI Barometer

In June 2020, we published the first iteration of our AI Barometer, which is a first-of-its-kind analysis of the most pressing opportunities, risks, and governance challenges associated with AI and data use, initially across five key UK sectors (including Criminal Justice, Financial Services, Health & Social Care, Digital & Social Media and Energy & Utilities). It draws on the expertise of over 120 expert panellists from industry, academia, civil society and government.

COVID-19 response

In response to COVID-19, we launched a COVID-19 repository: a database for novel use-cases of artificial intelligence and data specifically being used to counter and mitigate the effects of COVID-19 around the world. The repository aims to highlight innovations that are yet to be fully explored, encouraging researchers, the media and policymakers to widen the scope of their analysis and pay attention to lesser-known use cases.

Responsive thematic projects

We have published a series of Snapshot briefing papers on high profile technologies, including: AI and insurance; smart speakers; deepfakes; and facial recognition technology. We have also published a review of public sector data sharing.

Review into bias in algorithmic decision-making

We are conducting a review into bias in algorithmic decision-making. As stated in our interim report, we are looking at the use of algorithms across four sectors: policing, recruitment, financial services and local government. Building on the sectoral findings, the review will identify a number of recommendations and concrete steps for government, regulators and industry to take to spur responsible innovation.

Governance

We have an independent Board comprising expert and influential individuals from a range of fields relevant to our mandate. The Board has oversight of – and is accountable for – the CDEI’s work and recommendations.

A framework agreement sets out how we work with the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport.

Read more about our work, Board, and ways of working on our website.

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