THE highly anticipated Data Summit 2023 commenced today at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, gathering nearly 600 delegates for in-depth discussions on the ever-evolving landscape of data and artificial intelligence (AI). Over the next two days, experts and thought leaders from diverse fields will explore how technological advancements are reshaping the world, influencing areas such as culture, net-zero initiatives, privacy, disinformation, religion, and space travel.
This year’s summit boasts its most diverse lineup to date, featuring professionals ranging from data scientists and entrepreneurs to nuclear chemists, genomics experts, astrodynamicists, and journalists. With over ten countries represented among the distinguished guests, the event showcases a global perspective, emphasising the significance of international collaboration in the realm of data and AI. Notably, 70% of the speakers are women, underscoring the pivotal role women play in driving innovation in these fields.
Among the esteemed speakers are Katherine Rahill, NASA’s Senior Scientist of the Human Research Division at Johnson Space Centre, offering insights into humanity’s future in space; Paolo Benanti, AI Advisor to the Vatican, discussing AI, transhumanism, and faith; Anna Brailsford, CEO and Co-Founder of Code First Girls, participating in a fireside chat on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in AI and STEM; and Moriba Jah, Astrodynamicist and Space Environmentalist, advocating for space sustainability.
The event runs in parallel with the UK government’s AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park and comprises 24 speaker and panel sessions across various stages, focusing on different aspects of technology and innovation.
Deputy First Minister Shona Robison highlighted the Scottish Government’s commitment to the data sector, emphasising the crucial role data and AI will play in achieving economic and climate ambitions.
She stated, “The Scottish Government is committed to the data sector and recognizes that data and AI will be crucial if we want to achieve our economic and climate ambitions. The £42 million Techscaler program launched last year has already provided essential support to 400 start-up businesses, and our AI Strategy, which is being delivered in partnership with The Data Lab, will help us become a leader in the development and use of trustworthy AI.”
Brian Hills, CEO of The Data Lab, expressed his excitement about the diverse lineup and the platform the summit provides for discussing divisive topics related to AI and regulation. He emphasised the importance of flexibility in policies and regulations, ensuring they can adapt to the rapid evolution of technology.
Hills stated, “It’s great to see that there’s a growing interest in understanding and awareness when it comes to managing the risks associated with using frontier models of AI. It’s encouraging to see a renewed focus on entrepreneurship across the UK, and we need to ensure that this drive is accompanied by a commitment to responsible and ethical use of AI.”
As the summit progresses, attendees anticipate engaging discussions, insightful presentations, and collaborative efforts that will shape the future of AI and data, not just in Scotland but on a global scale. Stay tuned for more updates from the Data Summit 2023 as experts continue to explore the endless possibilities that data and AI offer in shaping our world.