Chair: Brian Runciman, Head of Content, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
10.05: The understanding and the trust: BCS, the place for debate
Adam Thilthorpe sets the scene for the day: A lot of the issues are about ethics, but this is no abstruse discussion, it is about the real world.
UK IT is short of people, and we pay lip service to inclusivity - marrying the two concepts will give enormous benefits as there’s a huge pool of talent being wasted.
Likewise, AI is much discussed and much misunderstood, we need to trust it to benefit from it. And we need skilled IT professionals with ethical awareness to make it fly for the UK.
Speaker: Adam Thilthorpe, Director of External Affairs, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
Session 1: Prejudice and bias are holding IT back
10.30: Perseverance and positivity! My personal mission to improve the world
The way computer technology has transformed the opportunities to engage in more life experiences for people with disabilities, and value of the equality of access it can facilitate.
Speaker: Martyn Sibley, Disability campaigner
11.15: IT and gender
Working in IT as a highly qualified and successful woman - what works, what doesn't…
Speaker: Dame Wendy Hall, Executive Director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton
11.25: Two perspectives on age in IT
Michael will discuss the experience of being an older person in IT. It's not just about legacy systems, but that with humility and some careful strategies older workers can have a successful later career. Included are tips on mentoring, how to present a CV, the role of part-time work, multiple roles and more.
Speaker: Michael Grant, BCS President and Associate Director at Harvey Nash
Speaker: Ben Towers
11.45: Debate - Fixing the skills gap with better inclusivity - how?
What needs to be done? Brian will Chair a discussion with Vinous Ali, Martyn Sibley, Léonie Watson and Michael Grant on transparency over pay and grades; #itstartswithme; outside help for monocultured organisations; combatting 'who speaks loudest wins’ and the ‘highest paid person in the room’ syndrome; and presenteeism.
12.25: Lunch and networking
Session 2: AI - the more we understand the less we fear
13.25: PM introduction
13.30: Can we trust AI?
A constructive, but not naïve, look at whether we can trust AI. Luciano will also look at lessons to be drawn from Google's ill-fated attempt to set up an AI ethics group - which he was part of. What are the dangers of this group's implosion? What are the implications and what can we learn?
Speaker: Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information, University of Oxford
14.20: Successful applications of AI - how to get it right
Master Inventor and CTO for IBM Global Business Services, James has over 20 years’ experience in machine learning and cognitive systems. James will be sharing his views on whether AI is where we think it is? Prior to joining IBM, James worked as an Artificial Intelligence (AI) consultant with Data Sciences (Data Sciences was taken over by IBM in 1996). Managing a number of AI projects for both military and commercial clients.
Speaker: James Luke, CTO for IBM Global Business Services
14.50: Debate - AI in the real world is not trusted, what needs doing? How can we change the narrative?
Brian will chair a discussion with Luciano Floridi, Ivana Bartoletti, Sana Khareghani and James Luke covering moving public perception away from Terminator; being constructive in portraying the benefits of AI; balancing expectation with the realism of current AI capability with public trust in mind and more.
15.30: Debate - Skills for a digital workforce
Our resident expert Adam Thilthorpe, Director of External Affairs, hosts a panel of leading employers bringing together real experiences and views to explore the nature of change in the world of IT and how businesses are planning for the implications on their workforce today.
The discussion will be taken in context of the current direction of UK skills policy, including employer-led apprenticeships and technical education which are central to the government’s agenda to address skills gaps and support economic growth.