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4 AI strategy launch 5 Social Security Scotland 7 Te Data Lab 8 Kate Forbes on digital skills 9 A nation of ‘tech users’ 10 Tech in primary care 14 AI in health and care 16 Building services around the citizen

18 Cover story: data ethics & AI 20 Geovation Scotland 22 IoT in the public sector 24 Digital evidence & data sharing

26 Transforming policing 28 AI in policing 29 Law Society of Scotland 30 Service Design 32 Tech for good 34 Highlands & Islands Enterprise

“‘We need to use new tools and machine learning and artificial intelligence to

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Former Science Minister


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Making our own predictions

In an age of AI – where machine learning algorithms can predict outcomes more quickly and with a greater degree of accuracy than humans – it is heartening to know that a speculative attempt made by us mere mortals in December last year to forecast the dominant digital topics of 2019 were not entirely without foundation. When putting together a list of the people and

technologies likely to hold the public’s attention, with the assistance of an eminent panel of Scottish technologists, it is pleasing to report back that our 12 panelists made the bold statement that artificial intelligence was going to become the ‘breakthrough’ technology of 2019. It’s a little premature to say that we were right, but I’m going to at least make the claim that we were justified

in taking a punt on a technology that is really starting to cut through into the mainstream. Witness the Scottish Government’s launch of

a new process to develop a national AI strategy and the University of Edinburgh’s appointment of a Silicon Valley Professor of data ethics and AI, both covered in this edition, and one can argue that AI – which is not exactly new, but has come to the fore with improved computing power – is now reaching a point of maturity which could see it soon being embraced by the public sector as much as it has already taken root in our everyday transactions with services online. And Prof. Shannon Vallor, who takes up her role early next year, reckons Scotland could really take a lead on all things AI, avoiding some of the mistakes made by the tech giants in her homeland. l

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