AI Excitement is Everywhere, But We Need To Talk About Data

The Executive Chair of the Open Data Institute, Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt, recently gave evidence to parliament on the governance of artificial intelligence. But what does AI have to do with open data?

AI systems, including the generative AI tools that have received so much attention recently (like ChatGPT, Google Bard, Stable Diffusion and DALL-E), not only require data – they are driven by it. As Sir Nigel told the select committee, and as the ODI’s new strategy also recognises, this data can be biased, and therefore should prompt concern about its trustworthiness. As the select committee heard, such bias can come from the data itself, as well as in the design of algorithmic systems and how they are implemented (and by whom). Data assurance will also be vital in helping people assess how much they should trust data and the technologies and techniques that make use of it. There may also be a role for new kinds of data institutions in how models and companies using data can be overseen and governed.

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