Government recruits for ‘public face’ of AI

Written by Sam Trendall on 31 January 2018 in News
News

BEIS and DCMS seeking head for new jointly run Office for Artificial Intelligence

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The government is searching for someone to become the “highly public face for AI” as head of its new Office for Artificial Intelligence (OAI). 

The OAI, the formation of which was announced in the Industrial Strategy whitepaper published in November, will be jointly established and run by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. 

The two Whitehall departments have launched a recruitment process for a leader to head up the office. The role – which comes with a salary of up to £80,000 – is being offered on an initial two-year fixed-term, loan, or secondment contract, “with the possibility of extension or permanency”, the government said.


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The head of OAI will be employed by DCMS but will report into the senior managers and ministers of both departments.

The post comes with a remit to recruit experts to staff the office, develop policy that addresses “critical questions for the growth of AI”, and establish relationships with industry, academic, and research organisations working in the artificial-intelligence field. The OAI head will be tasked with “driving the adoption of AI technologies across the public and private sectors”, and also leading the government’s AI Sector Deal, which pledged to make the UK a world-leader in the AI space.

“Major new government ambitions on AI were announced in the 2017 budget and Industrial Strategy. This included a Grand Challenge on AI and data technologies, aimed at transforming AI in the UK and enabling the UK to maximise its economic and societal benefits. The Office for AI… is being created to develop and deliver this Grand Challenge,” the government said.

It added: “This role will involve setting the vision, providing strategic leadership and leading a policy development and delivery programme for this new cross government team. You will expected to be a highly public face for AI as part of this role.”

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology, where a version of this story first appeared

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