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Deparment for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Artificial Intelligence

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 112077, tabled on 5 November 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what (a) artificial intelligence and (b) machine learning projects are being (i) undertaken and (ii) considered for his Department.

Answered on

13 November 2020

There are a number of projects currently being undertaken or considered by the Department, in some cases the progression will be dependent on availability of budget from next financial year.

BEIS are exploring AI and machine learning techniques internally to enable more efficient working. Projects are being:

(i) undertaken:

  • a proof of concept for the use of virtual assistants to help staff find information regarding corporate policies, whereby the assistant will improve by learning from the enquires responses
  • planning a proof of concept using Machine Learning for automatic labelling, setting up retention periods for past and future documents that form the official record.

(ii) considered:

  • the use of AI handling of inbound enquiries into the department to create draft responses and to triage requests to the correct teams.

BEIS Analysts use machine learning techniques, under the umbrella of artificial intelligence, where appropriate as part of analysis supporting policy development.

Machine Learning projects are being

(i) undertaken:

  • identifying the location of industrial strengths
  • pilot for targeting communications about business support
  • Categorising internal documents by subject

(ii) considered:

  • project to understand the labour market through analysing job adverts
  • a pilot for organising internal processes
  • a pilot for predicting economic impacts using real time indicators
  • exploring automatic text generation
  • planning to repeat a machine learning exercise on HMRC data to identify high growth potential businesses, to build on the successful ‘DECA pilot’ of 2019. This would underpin further operations in 2021, depending on the outcome of the SR process

BEIS policy teams are exploring the use of Artificial Intelligence. AI projects are being:

(ii) considered:

  • by the Better Regulation Executive who are looking to convert the stock of regulatory requirements placed on business into machine readable code and pilot hosting this as open source a metadata set on the ‘Open Regulation Platform’ (ORP), freely available on The National Archives platform. The project is currently in discovery phase to identify all data that government holds on regulatory obligations that could be relevant for this platform. This application is closely related to work that has already been undertaken as part of BEIS GovTech challenge to apply Artificial Intelligence (AI) to understand the cumulative impact of regulation