Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

Show
by:
Find by:
Close

UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
Showing 1-20 out of 76
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100
Expand all answers
Print selected
Q
Asked by Jo Stevens
(Cardiff Central)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 08 February 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Artificial Intelligence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that the use of artificial intelligence complies with equalities legislation.
A
Corrected answer by: Margot James
Corrected on: 18 February 2019
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 13 February 2019.
The correct answer should have been:

While we have seen some success with voluntary measures to improve online safety, Government has been clear that tech companies need to take more consistent and effective action to tackle online harms.

A joint DCMS-Home Office White Paper will be published shortly, setting out clear responsibilities for tech companies to keep their users safe online.

The Government recently set up the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation to provide independent, expert advice on the measures needed to enable and ensure safe, ethical and innovative uses of AI and data-driven technologies.

The first two projects the Centre will study include: the use of data in shaping people's online experiences; and the potential for bias in decisions made using algorithms. This work will play an important role in promoting and ensuring fairness and the ethical use of data to deliver maximum benefits for society. An interim update on these projects is expected in summer 2019.

Further, it is essential that AI developed in the UK reflects the needs and make-up of society as a whole and that industry and the public sector are able to access the greatest supply of talent in terms of numbers. Increasing diversity in the AI workforce is vital to ensure that everyone with the potential to participate has the opportunity to do so. The government’s Office for AI will work with the AI Council to promote diversity in the AI workforce.

A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 13 February 2019

While we have seen some success with voluntary measures to improve online safety, Government has been clear that tech companies need to take more consistent and effective action to tackle online harms.

A joint DCMS-Home Office White Paper will be published shortly, setting out clear responsibilities for tech companies to keep their users safe online.

The Government recently set up the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation to provide independent, expert advice on the measures needed to enable and ensure safe, ethical and innovative uses of AI and data-driven technologies.

The first two projects the Centre will study include: the use of data in shaping people's online experiences; and the potential for bias in decisions made using algorithms. This work will play an important role in promoting and ensuring fairness and the ethical use of data to deliver maximum benefits for society. An interim update on these projects is expected in summer 2019.

Further, it is essential that AI developed in the UK reflects the needs and make-up of society as a whole and that industry and the public sector are able to access the greatest supply of talent in terms of numbers. Increasing diversity in the AI workforce is vital to ensure that everyone with the potential to participate has the opportunity to do so. The government’s Office for AI will work with the AI Council to promote diversity in the AI workforce.

Q
Asked by Eddie Hughes
(Walsall North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 13 February 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Land Registry: Cybercrime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to Answer of 15 June 2018 to Question 151096 on Land Registry: Cybercrime, what the outcomes relating to the use of (a) blockchain and (b) artificial intelligence are of the HM Land Registry's Digital Street project.
A
Answered by: Richard Harrington
Answered on: 18 February 2019

The HM Land Registry’s research and development ‘Digital Street’ project is ongoing. The findings of the project are incorporated into HM Land Registry’s forward strategy on a continuing basis.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 23 January 2019
Home Office
Police: Artificial Intelligence
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 21 January (HL12620), what is the definition of vulnerability in relation to the National Data Analytics Solution project; and how many people on any database used by that project are deemed to be vulnerable.
Answered on: 06 February 2019

The National Data Analytics Solution project is police led and West Midlands Police have ownership of the definition of vulnerability and how many people on any database used by that project are deemed to be vulnerable; how many individuals' data are included and how many have been found guilty fo committing a crime and whether they require consent from individuals whose data are held on any database.

HL13078 - The project will be evaluated after it completes in March 2019. The Home Office is yet to agree a Report submission date with West Midlands Police. A decision whether to share widely or publish rests with the force’s Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable.

Grouped Questions: HL13076 | HL13077 | HL13078
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 23 January 2019
Home Office
Police: Artificial Intelligence
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many individuals' data are included on the databases that are used by the National Data Analytics Solution project; and of those, how many have been found guilty of committing a crime.
Answered on: 06 February 2019

The National Data Analytics Solution project is police led and West Midlands Police have ownership of the definition of vulnerability and how many people on any database used by that project are deemed to be vulnerable; how many individuals' data are included and how many have been found guilty fo committing a crime and whether they require consent from individuals whose data are held on any database.

HL13078 - The project will be evaluated after it completes in March 2019. The Home Office is yet to agree a Report submission date with West Midlands Police. A decision whether to share widely or publish rests with the force’s Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable.

Grouped Questions: HL13075 | HL13077 | HL13078
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 23 January 2019
Home Office
Police: Artificial Intelligence
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they require consent from individuals whose data are held on any database that is used as part of the National Data Analytics Solution project for their data to be held.
Answered on: 06 February 2019

The National Data Analytics Solution project is police led and West Midlands Police have ownership of the definition of vulnerability and how many people on any database used by that project are deemed to be vulnerable; how many individuals' data are included and how many have been found guilty fo committing a crime and whether they require consent from individuals whose data are held on any database.

HL13078 - The project will be evaluated after it completes in March 2019. The Home Office is yet to agree a Report submission date with West Midlands Police. A decision whether to share widely or publish rests with the force’s Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable.

Grouped Questions: HL13075 | HL13076 | HL13078
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 23 January 2019
Home Office
Police: Artificial Intelligence
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when, and how, the evaluation of the National Data Analytics Solutions project will be made public.
Answered on: 06 February 2019

The National Data Analytics Solution project is police led and West Midlands Police have ownership of the definition of vulnerability and how many people on any database used by that project are deemed to be vulnerable; how many individuals' data are included and how many have been found guilty fo committing a crime and whether they require consent from individuals whose data are held on any database.

HL13078 - The project will be evaluated after it completes in March 2019. The Home Office is yet to agree a Report submission date with West Midlands Police. A decision whether to share widely or publish rests with the force’s Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable.

Grouped Questions: HL13075 | HL13076 | HL13077
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 07 January 2019
Home Office
Police: Artificial Intelligence
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government which types of non-criminal matters the National Data Analytics Solution could be used for.
Answered on: 21 January 2019

The National Data Analytics Solution project will deliver the foundations of a national data analytics capability to enable a more coordinated response to targeting crime and vulnerability.

The project will be evaluated after it completes in March 2019. This will enable an informed assessment of potential uses for the capability and consider any next steps and further applications.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 07 January 2019
Home Office
Police: Artificial Intelligence
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether prescription data could be legally mined as part of the National Data Analytics Solution.
Answered on: 21 January 2019

The National Data Analytics Solution project has received Police Transformation Fund support to deliver the foundations of a national data analytics capability to enable a more coordinated response to targeting crime and vulnerability by sharing data across participating police forces. Prescription data is not within the scope of the project.

The project will be evaluated after it completes in March 2019. This will enable an informed assessment of potential uses for the capability and consideration of any next steps and further applications, including due diligence for compliance with all relevant rules and regulations.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 07 January 2019
Home Office
Police: Artificial Intelligence
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government which departments are taking part in the National Data Analytics Solution.
Answered on: 21 January 2019

The Home Office is the only government department involved in the National Data Analytics Solution project following approval by the Home Secretary of an award from the Police Transformation Fund to West Midlands Police to deliver it.

Q
Asked by Eddie Hughes
(Walsall North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 13 December 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Artificial Intelligence
Commons
What steps his Department is taking to ensure that the UK remains a world leader in the field of artificial intelligence.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 13 December 2018

The UK is a world leader in AI and this government is committed to retaining this position.

Our AI and Data Grand Challenge is a major collaboration with industry and academia to this end. It includes up to £0.95bn Sector Deal package with industry that will strengthen the UK’s position as a global AI leader.

We are establishing an AI Council, an expert committee, to provide high-level leadership on implementing the AI Sector Deal.

We are also working with partners including the Turing Institute and UKRI to encourage retention and attract new, diverse talent from abroad.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 04 December 2018
Home Office
Offences against Children: Social Media
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps his Department is taking to encourage social media companies to tackle the grooming of young children on the platforms of those companies.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 12 December 2018

Tackling online grooming is one of our highest priorities, and we are in-creasing our investment in law enforcement and legislating on online harms to bear down on the threat. In November the Home Secretary also co-hosted a ‘Hackathon’ in the US, where tech companies developed an artificial intelligence product to detect online grooming that will be licensed free of charge to technology companies worldwide.

Q
(Meriden)
Asked on: 13 November 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Government: Industry
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to improve collaborative working between Government and industry.
A
Answered by: Richard Harrington
Answered on: 19 November 2018

Our Industrial Strategy sets out how we are building strong partnerships with businesses, academia, local government and devolved administrations.

Our Sector Deals, Grand Challenges and Local Industrial Strategies demonstrate how we are working collaboratively with industry to make the UK the best place to start and grow a business. We have published six sector deals so far on Life Sciences, Automotive, Creative Industries, Artificial Intelligence, Nuclear and Construction. The process allows for robust engagement and negotiation between industry and government leadership to ensure that we are working together effectively to tackle barriers to productivity. We have three more deals in negotiation with the Aerospace, Rail and Food and Drink sectors.

Q
Asked by Angela Rayner
(Ashton-under-Lyne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 26 October 2018
Department for Education
Training: Expenditure
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 24 October 2018 to Question 181594 on Training, what proportion of (a) the £24 million allocated to the CITB Construction Skills Fund and (b) the £30 million allocated to develop innovative ways to use education technology and artificial intelligence in education will be spent in the 2018-19 financial year.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 31 October 2018

The CITB Construction Skills Funding is currently being agreed with the successful Construction Training Hubs providers across the country. We expect up to £9.2 million to be granted in 2018/19. A ministerial announcement about the successful projects will be made later this year.

The government has also committed up to £30 million to develop innovative ways to use education technology and articial intelligence in education to deliver improved learning outcomes. As updated in my previous response on 24 October 2018, this funding will begin in the 2019-20 financial year and is profiled evenly between financials years 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Q
Asked by Ian Austin
(Dudley North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 24 October 2018
Department for Education
Employment: Artificial Intelligence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the use of artificial intelligence on skills and training; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 29 October 2018

Automation and modernisation will have a significant impact on the jobs market over the next 10-20 years, bringing new challenges and opportunities. The National Retraining Scheme, announced in the 2017 Autumn Budget, is an ambitious and far-reaching programme to drive adult retraining. The Scheme will help those most at risk and in precarious employment to gain the skills they need to thrive as the economy changes.

In addition, the government has committed up to £30 million to develop innovative ways to use education technology and artificial intelligence in education to deliver improved learning outcomes. This funding takes effect from 2019-20 onwards and further details will be announced shortly.

Q
Asked by Ian Austin
(Dudley North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 24 October 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Employment: Artificial Intelligence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the use of artificial intelligence on levels of employment; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Kelly Tolhurst
Answered on: 29 October 2018

Artificial Intelligence is one of the global trends which will transform our future, changing jobs and businesses across the country, and we want people to be able to capitalise on these opportunities.

Addressing this, Artificial Intelligence and data is one of the first 4 Grand Challenges set out in our Industrial Strategy to put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future, ensuring that we take advantage of major global changes, improving people’s lives and the country’s productivity.

Embedding AI across the UK will create thousands of good quality jobs and drive economic growth in all four nations. As part of the AI Sector Deal, announced in April, we've made a range of commitments to support the development of the skills required to generate good jobs and greater earning power for all.

Q
(Leicester South)
Asked on: 18 October 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
NHS: ICT
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the October 2018 policy paper, The future of healthcare: our vision for digital, data and technology in health and care, what assessment his Department has made of the level of technical fluency of leaders in the NHS; and what steps he plans to take to recruit leaders with the technical fluency needed to be a competent customer.
A
Answered by: Matt Hancock
Answered on: 25 October 2018

To fulfil our vision, we need the right skills and capability at every level of the National Health Service, social care and across the system and this needs to be driven by leaders at every level.

We want all health and care organisations to ensure leaders at board-level understand how data and technology drives their services and strategies and take responsibility for the digital maturity of their organisations. We also recognise the need to develop the new generation of digital leaders who can drive the information and technology transformation of the NHS.

We will build on Health Education England’s work to develop the capabilities of staff and leaders in health and care to be digital-ready through initiatives such as the NHS Digital Academy, which was set up in 2017 to develop strong digital leaders who are capable of delivering change so that patient care, and the way that organisations operate, can benefit from the many improvements and innovations that modern technology has to offer.

Dr Eric Topol is leading a review to assess what training and skills clinical staff will need to make the best use of artificial intelligence, robotics, genomics and digital medicine.

Q
Asked by Angela Rayner
(Ashton-under-Lyne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 19 October 2018
Department for Education
Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much and what proportion of the funding allocated to the National Retraining Scheme pilots in digital and construction skills has been spent.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 24 October 2018

The government has committed £24 million to the CITB Construction Skills Fund. This fund will support and incentivise an employer-led approach to construction skills by funding on-site training hubs across England. Funding is due to begin shortly, with the first hubs being rolled out towards the end of the year. This employer-led approach to construction training will help deliver the local skills that firms need, while also meeting the national need for more skilled construction workers.

As part of the 2017 Autumn Budget, the West Midlands Combined Authority was granted £5 million to support the recruitment of new construction training entrants to underpin the continued growth of the region’s construction industry. This funding, which is separate to the £24 million committed to the CITB Construction Skills Fund, commenced in July 2018 and it will conclude in 2021.

Finally, the government has allocated £30 million to develop innovative ways to use education technology and artificial intelligence in education to deliver improved learning outcomes. This funding takes effect from the period 2019 to 2020 onwards and further details will be announced shortly. Evidence from these funds and pilots will inform the development of the National Retraining Scheme.

Q
Asked by Angela Rayner
(Ashton-under-Lyne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 19 October 2018
Department for Education
Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people have benefited from the construction and digital skills pilots of the National Retraining Scheme.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 24 October 2018

Funding will commence shortly for the Construction Skills fund. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is delivering the Fund on behalf of the Department. CITB have committed to delivering at least 20 training hubs with at least 13,000 learners by March 2020. Funding for the West Midland Combined Authority construction pilot commenced in July 2018 and they have committed to training at least 2,280 new recruits over three years.

The government has committed up to £30 million to develop innovative ways to use education technology and artificial intelligence in education to deliver improved learning outcomes. This funding takes effect from 2019-20 onwards and further details will be announced shortly.

Q
Asked by Jo Swinson
(East Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 16 October 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Autonomous Weapons: Artificial Intelligence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the remit of the forthcoming Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation will include the role of artificial intelligence in autonomous weapons systems.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 23 October 2018

The UK Government is establishing the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation to identify the measures needed to strengthen and improve the way in which data and AI is used, which will include promoting best practice and advising on how to address potential gaps in the regulatory landscape. The Centre is being established in the first instance in an interim form, following a public consultation on its remit and activities. The content and prioritisation of its work programme will be determined in dialogue with government once it is operational later this year.

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has not had recent discussions with the Secretary of State for Defence on this matter, however officials from both departments meet to discuss these and related AI issues.

Grouped Questions: 180128
Q
Asked by Liam Byrne
(Birmingham, Hodge Hill)
Asked on: 09 October 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Industry: Economic Growth
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility of 11 September 2018, Official Report, column 302WH, what progress his Department has made on assessing the potential merits of establishing an expanded and mission-oriented industrial strategy focused on achieving investment-led growth, with the aims of (a) diversifying the UK's industrial base, (b) driving up exports, (c) raising productivity and (d) addressing regional imbalances.
A
Answered by: Kelly Tolhurst
Answered on: 17 October 2018

The Government’s ambitious, modern Industrial Strategy sets out a long-term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK.

The Industrial Strategy sets out four Grand Challenges to put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future. As part of our approach we have developed four ambitious missions to tackle these Grand Challenges bringing government, businesses and organisations across the country together to make a real difference to people’s lives.

They are:

  • Future of Mobility: Put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of zero emission vehicles, with all new cars and vans effectively zero emission by 2040
  • Clean Growth: At least halve the energy use of new buildings by 2030
  • Ageing Society: Ensure that people can enjoy at least 5 extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035, while narrowing the gap between the experience of the richest and poorest
  • AI & Data: Use data, Artificial Intelligence and innovation to transform the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases by 2030

The Industrial Strategy’s Grand Challenges and mission-based approach are underpinned by the five foundations of productivity: Ideas, People, Infrastructure, Business Environment and Places. These foundations include an ambitious Export Strategy and supporting local areas to develop Local Industrial Strategies and strengthen local economics. By building strong foundations, we will create the best environment for the missions to succeed and deliver opportunities for new, world-leading industries across the UK.

Expand all answers
Print selected
Showing 1-20 out of 76
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100