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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Artificial Intelligence

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 14191, tabled on 11 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment they have made of the potential (a) threats and (b) opportunities of artificial intelligence in respect of their Department’s responsibilities.

Answered on

21 June 2021

Any spend by the Department on external facing digital services are subject to Cabinet Office digital and technology spend controls. Artificial Intelligence is treated as novel and contentious, and as such subject to additional scrutiny. This means threats associated with any application of Artificial Intelligence by the Department will be considered and assessed as part of this governance process.

In July 2020, Cabinet Office tasked all government departments to produce an Automation Blueprint. As part of this the Digital directorate within the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy identified potential opportunities for the application of Artificial Intelligence. 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 Analysts use machine learning techniques, under the umbrella of artificial intelligence, where appropriate as part of analysis supporting policy development.