A series of three images. The first is of an older man, using a tablet held by a robot. The second is of a drone, carrying a parcel. The third is of a healthcare robot with a human-like appearance.

What is the project?

Democratic Society have been working in partnership with The Data Lab and Scottish Government on public engagement for development of Scotland’s Artificial Intelligence (AI)  Strategy. Our aims are to increase knowledge and awareness of the strategy and AI, and to capture the views and ideas of different people across Scotland about the future of AI in Scotland. 

Why is Scotland talking about AI? 

AI is already part of everyday life. You use AI every time you search Google or you ask Alexa a question about the weather. Netflix uses it to predict what you’d like to watch based on yours, and others, viewing history. It can be also used to create ever more disruptive technologies. It’s being used to make cars that don’t need drivers, or to pilot drones to deliver your online purchases, and soon your doctor could be using it to help assess symptoms more quickly and accurately, ensuring they get prompt access to the correct specialist treatment.

Scotland is talking about AI now because it will increasingly have an impact on our lives. The Scottish Government is committed to the aims of the National Performance Framework and a co-ordinated AI strategy is one component of ensuring that we create a more successful country that can realise its potential and thrive. 

To inform development of the AI strategy for Scotland, at the Democratic Society we: 

  • Developed a series of online public quizzes on topics including AI Basics, Autonomous Vehicles, Facial Recognition, Equality & Bias, AI and the Future of Work, and AI and Healthcare. They are designed to help people learn more about AI and feed in their thoughts to the strategy development process. No prior knowledge is required. Have a go here: https://www.scotlandaistrategy.com/get-involved 
  • Published six videos to help answer some key questions about AI and its role in Scotland. View them here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2yx61DdsmsRNcshIJ1v_x  
    • Kate Forbes, Cabinet Secretary of Finance on why AI in Scotland is important and what the AI Strategy is and some of the myths and challenges that AI brings with it. 
    • Talat Yaqoob, Director, Equate Scotland on inclusive AI and tech development and becoming a leader in ethical AI.
    • Dr David Lowe, Consultant Emergency Medicine, Co-Director EmQuire & Joint Clinical Lead Innovation West of Scotland on AI in community healthcare and AI in hospital care.
  • Designed and facilitated a series of online public engagement workshops with over 50 people from across Scotland. They provided an opportunity for families and individuals to learn about AI and to share their thoughts, ideas and questions on some fundamental topics that will have an impact on our lives, including AI and the Future of Work, and AI, Ethics and Bias.

We are now in the process of pulling together the rich public input gathered through these activities to present some findings that will inform the working groups who are drafting the AI strategy. You can see who is involved in the working groups at https://www.scotlandaistrategy.com/who-is-involved 

Help us to promote it!

Everyone can all help promote the AI strategy in Scotland by sharing, tweeting or re-tweeting our resources and quizzes and how you got on @DemsocScotland @ScotAIStrategy #ScotAIStrategy

The Scotland's AI Strategy logo. A continuous line, shaped like an A and I, turning from yellow to orange.