I am passionate about supporting science and technology. I participate in many groups in Parliament to help build on our modern industrial success story and help rocket Britain onto the global stage as a leading innovative force in fields like artificial intelligence (AI).
I am currently a member of Parliament's cross-party Science and Technology Committee, having being a member since 2010. In this Parliament I continue to serve as a member and now Co-Chair the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence (APPGAI) along with Lord Clement-Jones CBE.
ALL-PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
The APPGAI will address the economic, social, and ethical implications of developing and implementing Artificial Intelligence (including machine learning, natural language understanding, automated reasoning, autonomous systems, etc).
We aim to unpack the term, to gather evidence to better understand it, to assess its impact, and, ultimately, to empower decision-makers to make policies in the sphere. Without being too technical, we will try to understand how AI will impact the lives of UK citizens and organisations, and subsequently, whether and how it should be regulated. Bringing together government, business, and academia we will share evidence and assist in setting an agenda for how the UK should address AI moving forward. There is a lot to explore and evidence is key shaping the future.
The UK has a proud engineering heritage. We lead the world in sectors like aerospace and automotive. The industry continues to thrive today, delivering huge economic benefits to our country. However, there is a shortfall of qualified engineering graduates and skilled technicians and a real lack of diversity in the workforce being 94% white and 92% male.
It is estimated that only a third of people know what engineers actually do.The days of visualising engineers as a ‘man with a rag’ are over. Modern engineers comprise of men and women of all races and ethnicities. They use ‘machine learning’ as much as physical machinery and artificial intelligence fuelled by data to solve today’s most complex challenges.
2018 was the Year of Engineering - a government-industry initiative to meet these problems, challenge the stereotypes and raise the profile of engineering among young people, their parents and teachers to inspire a future generation.
Brexit provides us with an opportunity to build on our modern industrial success story and rocket onto the global stage as a leading innovative force. In order to sustain our velocity we must inspire our children to join the mission.
On Saturday 14 July 2018 I teamed up with the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, to host a local Engineering Showcase in Basildon Town Centre.
The Showcase brought government, industry and the public together to challenge stereotypes and explore the variety, creativity and opportunity of engineering and help inspire a new and more diverse generation of engineers.
I am incredibly grateful to all those who exhibited and the families who attended to explore engineering. I am delighted that many found it an informative, inspiring event and took a closer look at what engineering means in the 21st Century.