BioSS director Prof. Mark Brewer co-chairs SEFARI Gateway AI Specialist Advisory Group

11 June, 2024

The inaugural workshop of the SEFARI Gateway funded AI Specialist Advisory Group (AI-SAG) for Scottish Government was held in Edinburgh on May 9. The event brought together a team of AI experts from across the UK, Scottish Government policy advisers and colleagues from SEFARI engaged in AI and data science.

The newly established advisory group is co-chaired by our director Prof. Mark Brewer and Prof. Georgios Leontidis (University of Aberdeen). AI-SAG aims to advise the Scottish Government on the use, future opportunities, risks and regulatory aspects of the fast-evolving technology as it applies to the environment, natural resources and agriculture policy in Scotland.

Prof. Mark Brewer stated: “There is considerable potential for AI to support policy development in Scotland, and indeed colleagues in BioSS and the other SEFARI are already using AI approaches in the Strategic Research Programme, funded by RESAS in support of ENRA.  However, AI is not a single method but a general concept – with very many different tools and techniques at each stage – so it is vital to bring together experts in AI and in the fields of science covered by ENRA in order to consider not only the effectiveness of AI, but also the ethical and societal dimensions. This initial meeting of AI-SAG is the first step in establishing the best way forward.”

An article on this first event of the Artificial Intelligence Specialist Advisory Group was published in the May 2024 edition of The Spark, SEFARI Gateway’s Newsletter, which is available here