This month we have seen the important role policies play to ensure technology is good for society.

Clearview AI has been fined more than $10 million for collecting the faces of UK citizens from the web and social media. The firm was also ordered to delete all of the data. Data protection authorities are beginning to work together to clamp down on large databases of billions of images.

Google’s I/O conference signals a new focus on projects designed to test and remedy problems like AI bias. For all the promise offered by AI, researchers continue to find issues with gender and racial bias. Testing LaMDA 2 openly is a smart move. Meta is inviting researchers to find flaws with its version of GPT-3.

Transparency is a good start with these large models as we explore the potential of technology illustrated by Deepmind’s generalist AI model’s impressive ability to do 604 different tasks. BCS continues to shape government policy by reaching out to influencers from across the political spectrum.

Recently, at the (ISC)² Roundtable - ‘Embedding Cybersecurity in UK Businesses for a More Resilient Economy’ event at the Palace of Westminster hosted by Sir George Howarth MP,  we were at the front and centre of the discussion with a number of MPs and key stakeholders within the industry. The round table highlighted several key takeaways around the UK’s cyber security sector:

  • There is a skills shortage that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency, and is very prominent for small to mid-size enterprises, who may not have in-house skills available, but require access to commercial outsourced support
  • Attracting, retaining, and training talent is key
  • Indicators of trust are needed across things, processes, and people

For you

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Diversity and inclusion is one of our key strategic themes and recently BCS made its views clear at the Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum (PICTFOR APPG) Annual Diversity and Inclusion Rally at Parliament, which again saw attendance from both MPs and our key stakeholders.

The PICTFOR event was focused on equipping people from all backgrounds with the necessary skills for a career in tech. There was a great host of speakers, including Chi Onwarah MP and Annelise Dodds, MP. They spoke about the importance of representation in STEM, how it is the key to making Britain an 'innovation nation'. A BCS member and a member of staff were among the guest speakers, and spoke about the work BCS Specialist Groups are doing to increase representation in IT.

Following the Queen’s speech earlier this month, BCS was featured heavily in the media, from the Independent to the Register commenting on proposed changes to Britain’s GDPR rules. Dr Sam de Silva, Chair of our Law Specialist Group advised that the benefits of a leaner data protection regime should not come at the expense of the UK’s current ‘data adequacy’ arrangement with the EU. One of our members was at the forefront of this topic, you can read the full press release here.

Keep making tech good for society!