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Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

A machine intelligence commission for the UK

This paper makes the case for creating a Machine Intelligence Commission - a new public institution to help the development of new generations of algorithms, machine learning tools and uses of big data, ensuring that the public interest is protected.

I argue that new institutions of this kind – which can interrogate, inspect and influence technological development – are a precondition for growing informed public trust. That trust will, in turn, be essential if we are to reap the full potential public and economic benefits from new technologies. The proposal draws on lessons from fields such as human fertilisation, biotech and energy, which have shown how trust can be earned, and how new industries can be grown. It also draws on lessons from the mistakes made in fields like GM crops and personal health data, where lack of trust has impeded progress.

This paper is based on a talk given to the Alan Turing Institute in London, February 2016.


Geoff Mulgan

Geoff Mulgan

Geoff Mulgan

Chief Executive Officer

Geoff Mulgan was Chief Executive of Nesta from 2011-2019.

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