A University of Birmingham academic has been appointed to the UK government’s AI Taskforce. Dame Helen Stokes-Lampard, Professor of GP Education at the University of Birmingham and the former Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, is a member of the Task Force’s External Advisory Board.
The Advisory Board members will play an active role in the work of the Taskforce, contributing to vital areas of focus such as safety and risks, capability and public sector use, and the technology’s impact on wider society. Professor Dame Helen Stokes-Lampard joins leading names from national security to computer science and brings vital hands-on clinical front-line experience. She hopes to bring a fresh perspective on the role of AI in health for the benefit of all.
The potential for good from this technology is remarkable but there are profound risks too and I hope to provide pragmatic insights into how health and care work, what those with healthcare problems need from AI, and how it may be most appropriately used.Professor Dame Helen Stokes-Lampard, Birmingham Medical School
Professor Stokes-Lampard said: “I was delighted to be asked to be on the expert Advisory Board to the UK’s Frontier AI Taskforce and relieved that health and care are being factored into the thinking about advances in AI. The potential for good from this technology is remarkable but there are profound risks too and I hope to provide pragmatic insights into how health and care work, what those with healthcare problems need from AI, and how it may be most appropriately used.”
Formerly the Foundation Model Taskforce, the group’s focus will be on ‘Frontier AI’ and systems which could pose significant risks to public safety and global security. Frontier AI models hold enormous potential to power economic growth, drive scientific progress and wider public benefits, while also posing potential safety risks if not developed responsibly. This includes cutting-edge large-scale machine models, which are trained on vast amounts of data.
Announced by the Prime Minister in April, the taskforce is backed with £100 million in funding to lead the safe and reliable development of frontier AI Models.
Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan said: “When I started as Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, I was determined to do things differently, by working with experts in government and industry. These new appointments are a huge vote of confidence in our status as a flagbearer for AI safety as we take advantage of the enormous wealth of knowledge we have both at home and abroad.”
Frontier AI Taskforce Chair, Ian Hogarth, said: “I am pleased to confirm the first members of the Taskforce’s External Advisory Board, bringing together experts from academia, industry, and government with diverse expertise in AI research and national security. I’m also happy to announce that in just 11 weeks we’ve rapidly hired an incredible team of AI researchers who will help make sure the UK government is at the cutting edge of AI safety.
“We’re working to ensure the safe and reliable development of foundation models, but our efforts will also strengthen our leading AI sector and demonstrate the huge benefits AI can bring to the whole country to deliver better outcomes for everyone across society.”