The projects which were awarded the 2018 grants have inspired the WCIT to create The WCIT Learning Exchange, to assemble and disseminate best practice in this technology area for the benefit of the Charity Sector, to attract other interested parties to participate, contribute and consume, and to engage WCIT members in this undertaking.
To support the two winners of the WCIT Charity IT Award in their projects, and subsequently other charity projects, by bringing them together and introducing them to external expertise (from WCIT and other experts).
To provide a mechanism to involve WCIT members, to harness their skills and expertise and involvement.
To ensure lessons from the winning projects, and later from others, are distilled and shared for the benefit of both winning organisations and the wider charity sector. WCIT specifically intend that this should be a group assembling and making available learning and best practice: it is not intended to be a research or academic endeavour.
Act as a convenor / host for charities running AI/ML projects to facilitate learning; this would include the award winners, plus others including corporate and private sector.
Compiling metrics from the wining projects and others who join the forum, on development, performance and outcomes achieved.
Update on initiatives
Nine charities have joined the AI/ML Learning Exchange including: Abilitynet, The Brain Tumour Charity, Cancer Research, FamilyFund, Samaritans, Blenheim/HumanKind and Asthma UK.
Four monthly meetings have been held. Missing People have shared the results of their early user trials and good discussions have taken place on a number of topics.
Seven AI/ML themed events have been identified to meet the challenges and priorities raised by the charities (Ethics, Data, Security, Business Case, Problem Speed Date, Purchasing and Supplier
Management all from the AI/ML and charity perspective),
WCIT Members and WCIT Panels and Committees including the Technology and Security Panels and the Comms & PR Committee have been very supportive in offering help either to the
charities or in the setting up of the AI/ML Learning Exchange itself.
A platform (based on Office 365 and Teams) to hold, discuss and exchange information is being explored and tested. The aim is for this to also become a pilot for WCIT Panels.
A draft design and content for an AI/ML Learning Exchange web site has been created and is with MVine for review. The aim is for it to be closely coupled with the main WCIT website.
Governance principles, success metrics, a communication strategy and an action plan have been created.
2nd April AI/ML Learning Exchange Ethic’s Debate
“There is no such thing as AI Ethics - just Ethics”
It was a rare treat and a privilege to hear Chris Rees and Richard Harvey probe the fine balance between their opposing positions and put into context the myths and hype that currently abound on this issue. This was no caricature tussle but well considered closely matched arguments with plenty of food for thought from the floor to make it a rich and varied discussion. We had a full house of WCIT, guests and Charity Members of the AI/ML Learning Exchange with a number of people being heard to say that they changed their minds on which way to vote several times in the evening.
But perhaps the result alone may give rise to a further cause for thought for Charities embarking on AI.
The WCIT part of the audience voted overwhelmingly for the motion ‘There is no such thing as AI Ethics - just Ethics’, it may well be worth them checking the values and any code of ethics of AI suppliers to make sure they accord with their own before they start their AI journey together.
For those statistically minded:
the total vote both before and after the debate was in favour of the motion,
the number of those opposed to the motion increased by a higher percentage than those in favour when comparing before and after votes,
the vote from the Charity members of the audience was quite evenly matched with just one vote between for and against.
Our next themed event will be on Data for AI.