Church Commissioners’ Written Answers: carbon emissions, religious freedom, strategic development funding, church planting, green investments, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, the Primates’ Meeting, new technologies, marriage and family life

On 13th February 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered written questions from Jim Shannon MP, on carbon emissions, religious freedom, strategic development funding, church planting, green investments, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, the Primates’ Meeting, new technologies, marriage and family life.

Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ Written Answers: carbon emissions, religious freedom, strategic development funding, church planting, green investments, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, the Primates’ Meeting, new technologies, marriage and family life”

Bishop of Oxford calls for agreed principles against which public-centred use of Artificial Intelligence can be assessed

On 12th February 2020 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Clement-Jones, “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken to assess the full implications of decision-making and prediction by algorithm in the public sector.” The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, I declare an interest as a board member of the CDEI and a member of the Ada Lovelace Institute’s new Rethinking Data project. I am also a graduate of the AI Select Committee. I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, for this important debate.

Almost all those involved in this sector are aware that there is an urgent need for creative regulation that realises the benefits of artificial intelligence while minimising the risks of harm. I was recently struck by a new book by Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, entitled Tools and Weapons—that says it all in one phrase. His final sentence is a plea for exactly this kind of creative regulation. He writes:

“Technology innovation is not going to slow down. The work to manage it needs to speed up.”

Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford calls for agreed principles against which public-centred use of Artificial Intelligence can be assessed”

Bishop of Oxford on future generations, climate change and technology policies

On 20th June 2019 Lord Bird led a debate in the House of Lords on the motion “that this House takes note of the case for better protecting and representing the interests of future generations in policy-making.” The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, spoke in the debate, and his speech is below. The speech of the Bishop of Leeds in the same debate can be seen here.

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Bishop of Oxford calls for vigorous public debate on impact of artificial intelligence

Oxford 5718On 19th November 2018, Lord Clement-Jones tabled a Motion ‘That this House takes note of the Report from the Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence AI in the UK: ready, willing and able? (HL Paper 100).’ The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd Steven Croft, served on the committee that produced the report and he spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, it was a pleasure to serve as part of your Lordships’ Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence, and an education. I join others in paying tribute to the expertise and skill of our chair, the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, and our excellent staff and advisers.

At the beginning of my engagement with AI, what kept me awake at night was the prospect of what AI might mean for the distant future: the advent of conscious machines, killer robots and artificial general intelligence. We are probably more than a generation away from those risks. But what kept me awake as the inquiry got under way—it really did—were the possibilities and risks of AI in the present.

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Bishop of Oxford on importance of lifelong learning and skills in response to technological change

Oxford 5718bOn 5th July 2018 Baroness Bakewell led a debate on the motion “That this House takes note of part-time and continuing education, and in particular the future of the Open University.” The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, like others, I warmly welcome this debate and thank the noble Baroness, Lady Bakewell, for introducing it so ably. Student numbers in part-time education are moving dramatically in the opposite direction to the one I am sure we all want to see, potentially with really dangerous consequences for our economy and society. Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford on importance of lifelong learning and skills in response to technological change”

Bishop of Oxford asks Government about use and handling of NHS data records

On 5th July Baroness Thornton asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps they will take to ensure that National Health Service patients have equitable access to the benefits of (1) artificial intelligence, (2) genomic medicine, (3) new drugs, and (4) innovative treatments.” The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, the Question also asked about artificial intelligence. Can the Minister comment on the steps being taken to improve data transfer across different NHS trusts, and standardisation? Are steps being taken to ensure the ethical release of data for research purposes? Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford asks Government about use and handling of NHS data records”

Bishop of Oxford on Developing Artificial Intelligence in the UK

On 16th April 2018 the House of Lords’ Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence published its report (which can be read here). The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steve Croft, was a member of the Committee and published the following blog on his website about the report:

THE ONLY WAY IS ETHICS

Developing Artificial Intelligence in the UK

For the past year, I’ve been a member of the House of Lords’ Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence. The Committee of 13 members received 223 pieces of written evidence and took oral sessions from 57 witnesses over 22 sessions between October and December. It has been a fascinating process. Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford on Developing Artificial Intelligence in the UK”