RUSI partners with Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation to examine benefits of AI

RUSI headquarters in central London

RUSI headquarters in central London

Defence and security Think Tank the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) has announced a new partnership with the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, a recently-launched Government advisory body established to investigate and advise on how Government can maximise the benefits of data-enabled technologies and Artificial Intelligence.

The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation is currently undertaking a review into bias in algorithmic decision-making in the crime and justice sector. As part of this review, the Centre is developing a Code of Practice for the design, development and trialling of predictive policing technology, which will help mitigate algorithmic bias at the same time as addressing wider ethical concerns.

The Centre has commissioned RUSI to undertake an independent research study into how algorithmic tools are currently being used by police forces in England and Wales, along with the potential for biased outcomes for certain individuals or groups. The research will consist of interviews and round tables with local police forces, technology providers, civil liberties groups and others.

The Centre and RUSI are focusing on predictive policing as previous RUSI research has identified significant gaps in the existing policy framework for the police’s use of machine learning. There’s currently no national guidance for how these tools should be developed.

Moreover, there’s evidence to suggest that technology of this kind can be subject to bias if not carefully designed and implemented. A new Code of Practice will provide clear guidance on how police forces should trial and implement predictive algorithmic tools while addressing issues of algorithmic bias and wider ethical concerns.

An interim Briefing Paper will be published later on this year summarising the emerging findings of the research, alongside a draft Code of Practice which will be circulated for consultation.

The final RUSI research paper is scheduled for publication early next year.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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