Aiming to grow its impact and influence, the BCS Fellows Technical Advisory Group (F-TAG) welcomes five elected new Fellows to its ranks.

The BCS Fellows Technical Advisory Group (F-TAG) was created to provide BCS members and the broader profession with timely and original insight into emerging technologies and techniques.

The group has quickly become a cornerstone of BCS’ thought leadership. F-TAG’s outputs — papers, advisories and policy responses — have led to many media appearances and offered tangible input into the UK government’s approach to new technologies.

Commentary on the Online Safety Bill, a positioning paper urging against pressing pause on AI development, and an open letter calling for AI to be seen as a force for good rate as some of the group’s most impactful work.

F-TAG’s inception

Formed in late 2021, the purposefully diverse group has recently elected five new members — each selected because of their unique blend of life experience, technical knowledge and a view across the IT industry.

The rigorous selection process involved interviews and input from several key BCS committees.

The five new members are:

  • Rich Corbridge FBCS: Director General for Digital at the Department for Work and Pensions and a globally recognised expert in technology and its applications. Richard is among the top 100 CIOs globally, and Computer Weekly lists him as one of the UK’s 50 most influential tech leaders
  • Dr Sandra I. Woolley FBCS: Deputy Director of The Digital Society Institute at Keele University and the Computer Science Research Director and Leader of Software and Systems Engineering Research in the School of Computer Science and Mathematics, where she is a Reader
  • Eleanor Watson FBCS: A trailblazer in emerging technologies such as machine vision, AI and ethics. She dedicates her work to protecting human rights, elevating the human spirit and championing ethics, safety and values
  • Kurt Roosen FBCS: Head of Innovation at Digital Isle of Man, leading the development and implementation of strategies and initiatives that foster and enhance the digital sector on the island. With over 36 years of experience in IT and communications, he has a keen eye for identifying and applying new technologies to create innovative solutions for business and social challenges
  • Fiona Dawson FBCS: A director with Mayden, a firm that designs, builds and supports insightful cloud based systems for healthcare services in the UK and abroad. By night, she is part of One HealthTech, a grassroots community that supports and promotes women and other under-represented groups as future leaders in health innovation

‘I’d very much like to thank F-TAG’s founding members for their efforts and energy and to congratulate our five new electees,’ said F-TAG chairperson Adam Leon Smith FBCS. ‘As a group, we have achieved a great deal. I want to welcome our new members and I feel confident they will complement and deepen F-TAG’s already considerable pool of technical expertise.’

F-TAG’s insight

Since its inception, F-TAG has collectively authored nearly 20 papers. These reports covered a diverse set of topical issues, and all are focused on providing policymakers and professionals with actionable insight. Subjects included:

‘F-TAG’s diverse membership gives it the experience, insight and credibility to talk about many different technologies,’ said Christine Ashton FBCS, F-TAG’s deputy chair. ‘Our diversity gives us a breadth of viewpoints… This enables us to quickly assess emerging policies and events from many different angles.’

She added: ‘Importantly, F-TAG is vendor-neutral. We’re not looking to sell products and services, so policymakers can trust that our insights are unbiased.’

F-TAG’s impact

During 2023, F-TAG took a leading role in BCS’ open letter on AI. As the Chartered Institute for IT, we called for AI to be a force for good, transforming every area of our lives, from healthcare to the workplace.

For you

BCS members can read the very latest F-TAG technical briefings and reports.

More than 1,300 IT experts signed the letter and agreed to help lead and implement international standards for how AI will ‘grow up’ responsibly and for the benefit of society.

‘Helping AI grow up responsibly’ became a headline-grabbing phrase that saw BCS quoted across media outlets, including the BBC.

Along with trustworthy technical commentary, F-TAG’s ability to comment quickly has helped BCS to become a reliable source that journalists now seek out.

In the shadow of the Post Office Horizon IT scandal, F-TAG worked as a convener and collaborator, drawing expertise from the BCS Ethics Committee. The result was a report: Living with AI and emerging technologies: Meeting ethical challenges through professional standards.

‘The group has also supported and fed into external technical standards bodies,’ said Adam Leon Smith. ‘This shows F-TAG members’ insights are respected, and those opinions are shaping our industry’s norms, processes and methods.’

Beyond purely technical contributions, F-TAG members have given their expertise to women’s health and strategy campaigns and a new digital health and social care podcast.