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.

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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.
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Q
(East Londonderry)
[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 June 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Productivity
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to boost productivity.
A
Answered by: Andrew Stephenson
Answered on: 18 June 2019

The Industrial Strategy is our long-term plan to boost productivity by backing businesses to create high-quality, well paid jobs throughout the United Kingdom, with investment in skills, industries and infrastructure. ​​The Industrial Strategy is how we are creating an economy that works for everyone: highly innovative, highly skilled and high quality, supported by low taxation and smart regulation. ​

Through a cross-government programme, Industrial Strategy focuses on:

  • Strengthening the Foundations of productivity – by encouraging innovation, developing high quality jobs, supporting UK businesses and fostering growth in all parts of the UK.
  • Building long-term strategic partnerships with businesses through Sector Deals between government and industry.
  • Taking on Grand Challenges in Artificial Intelligence and Data Economy, Clean Growth, Ageing Society and Future of Mobility - society-changing opportunities and industries of the future where the UK can build on its strengths and lead the world.
Q
(Blackpool South)
[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: 10 June 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Postgraduate Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions has he had with (a) university groups and (b) UK Research and Innovation on the sustainability of current funding for PHD qualifications.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 13 June 2019

I regularly meet with universities, university groups and UKRI to discuss a number of issues. The government’s target to reach a total of 2.4% of GDP invested in R&D by 2027 will mean increasing the numbers of highly trained people working in research and innovation, including PhD graduates. In 2017/18, UKRI’s direct funding was supporting around 22,000 studentships, about 22% of the UK total. In addition, Research England’s QR Research Degree Programme (RDP) supervision fund provides more than £250 million of annual funding contributing to the costs that universities face in supervising research degree programmes.

In many cases, this investment is also made in partnership, leveraging further support from higher education institutions and industry to maximise the impact from the public investment. For example, in 2019, UKRI invested £100m in 16 new Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) in Artificial Intelligence, based at 14 UK universities with 300 partners. Project partners are investing £78 million in cash or in-kind contributions and partner universities are committing a further £23 million, resulting in an overall investment of more than £200 million.

Given the large commitments partner universities make to these investments, we are mindful of the need to maintain sustainability. UKRI is currently developing a plan for the delivery of the government’s 2.4% target with stakeholders to ensure that we not only achieve these ambitious targets but do so in a manner that is sustainable and ensure long-term impact.

Q
(Liverpool, Wavertree)
[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: 04 June 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Health: Research
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the amount UK Research and Innovation has spent on research into (a) physical health conditions and (b) mental health conditions in each of the last 5 years.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 12 June 2019
Holding answer received on 10 June 2019

We are increasing spending on R&D by £7 billion over 5 years by 2021-22. This will be the largest increase ever.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a partner organisation of BEIS, funds research relating to health. Funding decisions are based on the quality of the proposals, with researcher-led proposals welcomed into any aspect of human health, with the primary considerations being research excellence and importance to health.

Within UKRI, the Medical Research Council (MRC) is the primary, but not exclusive, funder of medical research. Over the last five years, MRC has provided the following health funding:

MRC Health Research (HRCS)

2013/14 (£)

2014/15 (£)

2015/16 (£)

2016/17 (£)

2017/18 (£)

All Health Categories

617,605,780

625,128,039

723,428,975

599,790,930

585,079,573

Of which Mental Health

30,240,645

31,222,399

30,585,328

28,557,922

39,879,007

Of which Neurological

79,901,444

79,832,753

109,809,894

80,286,626

74,631,328

All Prevention Research

26,587,238

24,479,417

22,348,094

24,157,949

30,297,781

Of which Mental Health

815,707

587,725

453,152

391,856

415,533

Of which Neurological

17,006

22,812

25,047

33,037

36,383

Please note this does not represent the MRC’s entire research spend as some investments, such as infrastructure and underpinning research are not included in the analysis.

Research relating to mental health is funded by all UKRI councils. As well as UKRI, other government bodies fund health research, such as the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The UK Clinical Research Collaboration undertakes UK Health Research Analysis. An analysis of data for 2018 is expected to the published in summer 2019. The most recent report (in 2014) included data from seven of UKRI’s nine councils as well as other government departments and charitable organisations. The report and data are available at https://hrcsonline.net/reports/analysis-reports/

Further related initiatives include:

  • UKRI Mental Health Networks support prevention alongside targeted mental health care

On 5 December 2018, the government announced up to £79 million of Industrial Strategy funding for a new programme of research that will harness the power of artificial intelligence and big data to dramatically change the way major diseases are detected, diagnosed and treated. The funding, which forms part of the government’s Life Sciences Sector Deal 2, will support the establishment of a landmark cohort of up to five million people to take part in research aimed at revolutionising early detection and diagnosis of a range of diseases, including Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The programme will bring together the NHS, industry and leading charities including Alzheimer’s Research UK, Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.

Grouped Questions: 259960 | 259961 | 259962
Q
(Liverpool, Wavertree)
[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: 04 June 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Mental Illness: Research
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether UK Research and Innovation has plans to increase the proportion of funding allocated to research into mental illness in the next financial year.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 12 June 2019
Holding answer received on 10 June 2019

We are increasing spending on R&D by £7 billion over 5 years by 2021-22. This will be the largest increase ever.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a partner organisation of BEIS, funds research relating to health. Funding decisions are based on the quality of the proposals, with researcher-led proposals welcomed into any aspect of human health, with the primary considerations being research excellence and importance to health.

Within UKRI, the Medical Research Council (MRC) is the primary, but not exclusive, funder of medical research. Over the last five years, MRC has provided the following health funding:

MRC Health Research (HRCS)

2013/14 (£)

2014/15 (£)

2015/16 (£)

2016/17 (£)

2017/18 (£)

All Health Categories

617,605,780

625,128,039

723,428,975

599,790,930

585,079,573

Of which Mental Health

30,240,645

31,222,399

30,585,328

28,557,922

39,879,007

Of which Neurological

79,901,444

79,832,753

109,809,894

80,286,626

74,631,328

All Prevention Research

26,587,238

24,479,417

22,348,094

24,157,949

30,297,781

Of which Mental Health

815,707

587,725

453,152

391,856

415,533

Of which Neurological

17,006

22,812

25,047

33,037

36,383

Please note this does not represent the MRC’s entire research spend as some investments, such as infrastructure and underpinning research are not included in the analysis.

Research relating to mental health is funded by all UKRI councils. As well as UKRI, other government bodies fund health research, such as the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The UK Clinical Research Collaboration undertakes UK Health Research Analysis. An analysis of data for 2018 is expected to the published in summer 2019. The most recent report (in 2014) included data from seven of UKRI’s nine councils as well as other government departments and charitable organisations. The report and data are available at https://hrcsonline.net/reports/analysis-reports/

Further related initiatives include:

  • UKRI Mental Health Networks support prevention alongside targeted mental health care

On 5 December 2018, the government announced up to £79 million of Industrial Strategy funding for a new programme of research that will harness the power of artificial intelligence and big data to dramatically change the way major diseases are detected, diagnosed and treated. The funding, which forms part of the government’s Life Sciences Sector Deal 2, will support the establishment of a landmark cohort of up to five million people to take part in research aimed at revolutionising early detection and diagnosis of a range of diseases, including Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The programme will bring together the NHS, industry and leading charities including Alzheimer’s Research UK, Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.

Grouped Questions: 259959 | 259961 | 259962
Q
(Liverpool, Wavertree)
[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: 04 June 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Health: Research
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how UK Research and Innovation considers the disease burden of individual conditions when commissioning funding for individual health research projects.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 12 June 2019
Holding answer received on 10 June 2019

We are increasing spending on R&D by £7 billion over 5 years by 2021-22. This will be the largest increase ever.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a partner organisation of BEIS, funds research relating to health. Funding decisions are based on the quality of the proposals, with researcher-led proposals welcomed into any aspect of human health, with the primary considerations being research excellence and importance to health.

Within UKRI, the Medical Research Council (MRC) is the primary, but not exclusive, funder of medical research. Over the last five years, MRC has provided the following health funding:

MRC Health Research (HRCS)

2013/14 (£)

2014/15 (£)

2015/16 (£)

2016/17 (£)

2017/18 (£)

All Health Categories

617,605,780

625,128,039

723,428,975

599,790,930

585,079,573

Of which Mental Health

30,240,645

31,222,399

30,585,328

28,557,922

39,879,007

Of which Neurological

79,901,444

79,832,753

109,809,894

80,286,626

74,631,328

All Prevention Research

26,587,238

24,479,417

22,348,094

24,157,949

30,297,781

Of which Mental Health

815,707

587,725

453,152

391,856

415,533

Of which Neurological

17,006

22,812

25,047

33,037

36,383

Please note this does not represent the MRC’s entire research spend as some investments, such as infrastructure and underpinning research are not included in the analysis.

Research relating to mental health is funded by all UKRI councils. As well as UKRI, other government bodies fund health research, such as the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The UK Clinical Research Collaboration undertakes UK Health Research Analysis. An analysis of data for 2018 is expected to the published in summer 2019. The most recent report (in 2014) included data from seven of UKRI’s nine councils as well as other government departments and charitable organisations. The report and data are available at https://hrcsonline.net/reports/analysis-reports/

Further related initiatives include:

  • UKRI Mental Health Networks support prevention alongside targeted mental health care

On 5 December 2018, the government announced up to £79 million of Industrial Strategy funding for a new programme of research that will harness the power of artificial intelligence and big data to dramatically change the way major diseases are detected, diagnosed and treated. The funding, which forms part of the government’s Life Sciences Sector Deal 2, will support the establishment of a landmark cohort of up to five million people to take part in research aimed at revolutionising early detection and diagnosis of a range of diseases, including Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The programme will bring together the NHS, industry and leading charities including Alzheimer’s Research UK, Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.

Grouped Questions: 259959 | 259960 | 259962
Q
(Liverpool, Wavertree)
[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: 04 June 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Health: Research
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the cost to UK Research and Innovation of research on the prevention of (a) mental and (b) physical ill health in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 12 June 2019
Holding answer received on 10 June 2019

We are increasing spending on R&D by £7 billion over 5 years by 2021-22. This will be the largest increase ever.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a partner organisation of BEIS, funds research relating to health. Funding decisions are based on the quality of the proposals, with researcher-led proposals welcomed into any aspect of human health, with the primary considerations being research excellence and importance to health.

Within UKRI, the Medical Research Council (MRC) is the primary, but not exclusive, funder of medical research. Over the last five years, MRC has provided the following health funding:

MRC Health Research (HRCS)

2013/14 (£)

2014/15 (£)

2015/16 (£)

2016/17 (£)

2017/18 (£)

All Health Categories

617,605,780

625,128,039

723,428,975

599,790,930

585,079,573

Of which Mental Health

30,240,645

31,222,399

30,585,328

28,557,922

39,879,007

Of which Neurological

79,901,444

79,832,753

109,809,894

80,286,626

74,631,328

All Prevention Research

26,587,238

24,479,417

22,348,094

24,157,949

30,297,781

Of which Mental Health

815,707

587,725

453,152

391,856

415,533

Of which Neurological

17,006

22,812

25,047

33,037

36,383

Please note this does not represent the MRC’s entire research spend as some investments, such as infrastructure and underpinning research are not included in the analysis.

Research relating to mental health is funded by all UKRI councils. As well as UKRI, other government bodies fund health research, such as the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The UK Clinical Research Collaboration undertakes UK Health Research Analysis. An analysis of data for 2018 is expected to the published in summer 2019. The most recent report (in 2014) included data from seven of UKRI’s nine councils as well as other government departments and charitable organisations. The report and data are available at https://hrcsonline.net/reports/analysis-reports/

Further related initiatives include:

  • UKRI Mental Health Networks support prevention alongside targeted mental health care

On 5 December 2018, the government announced up to £79 million of Industrial Strategy funding for a new programme of research that will harness the power of artificial intelligence and big data to dramatically change the way major diseases are detected, diagnosed and treated. The funding, which forms part of the government’s Life Sciences Sector Deal 2, will support the establishment of a landmark cohort of up to five million people to take part in research aimed at revolutionising early detection and diagnosis of a range of diseases, including Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The programme will bring together the NHS, industry and leading charities including Alzheimer’s Research UK, Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.

Grouped Questions: 259959 | 259960 | 259961
Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 06 June 2019
Department for Education
Universities: Suicide
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department has published on suicide prevention strategies for universities.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 12 June 2019

Mental health is a priority for the government, which is why we have worked with Universities UK, the Office for Students, and other stakeholders in the higher education sector to develop guidance on measures to help prevent suicide. This guidance was published in September 2018, ahead of the 2018/19 academic year, and can be found here: https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-analysis/reports/Pages/guidance-for-universities-on-preventing-student-suicides.aspx.

In addition, the government has published the first cross-government suicide prevention plan for wider society. The plan, led by my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, sets out actions for local government, the NHS, the criminal justice system and the Department for Education in relation to universities. The plan focuses on how social media and the latest technology, such as predictive analytics and artificial intelligence, can identify those at risk of suicide. It can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/first-ever-cross-government-suicide-prevention-plan-published.

Asked on: 22 May 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services: Artificial Intelligence
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to invest in the development and use of artificial intelligence in the UK healthcare sector.
Answered on: 06 June 2019

The Department of Health and Social Care is leading on the Prime Minister’s Mission to “Use data, Artificial Intelligence and innovation to transform the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases by 2030.” We hope that as we work towards this overall goal, we can ensure that: patients experience better care, clinicians deliver better care, commissioners are better able to commission data-driven technologies and the United Kingdom is a great place to do business in artificial intelligence (AI) for health and care.

We are working in partnership with organisations across the National Health Service, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Office for Life Sciences, Office for Artificial Intelligence and Better Regulation Executive to engage with businesses in the sector so that we benefit from the potential for AI to improve care, deliver better outcomes, contribute to efficiency in the health and care system and contribute to the wider economy. In September 2018, we published the Code of Conduct for Data-Driven Health and Care Technology, which clearly sets out the behaviours we expect from those developing AI and related technologies. The Code was updated in February 2019 based on feedback, including from industry partners, and we are working with them to develop case studies showing good practice in complying with the Code. We are also developing tools to help businesses comply with the Code of Conduct.

The Office for Artificial Intelligence and UK Research and Innovation have announced centres for doctoral training in AI-enabled healthcare across the UK.

The Office for Life Sciences has established five Centres of Excellence in digital pathology and radiology with AI, supported by an initial £50 million Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund investment and a further £50 million of scale up funding from the Department of Health and Social Care. The centres are working with NHS and industry partners, including innovative small and medium-sized enterprises, to develop pioneering AI-enabled pathology and radiology tools.

In addition we are also working closely with Health Education England as they follow through on the recommendations made by the Topol Review Preparing the healthcare workforce to deliver the digital future.

In March 2019, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence published its Evidence Standards Framework for Digital Health Technologies, outlining the evidence required by businesses to demonstrate the effectiveness and economic impact of digital health technologies.

Taken together these steps, and others, will ensure there is a clear framework for the development and use of AI in the healthcare sector including the skills, a clear path to market, and a rigorous process for ensuring the safety, efficacy and ethics of the tools developed, deployed and used.

Q
Asked by Joan Ryan
(Enfield 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: 03 June 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Video Recordings: Disinformation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in the US Administration on deepfake videos.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 06 June 2019

Ministers have regular discussions with their US counterparts on a wide range of issues, but have not discussed the specific issue of deepfake videos. However, UK officials have discussed the wider issue of online manipulation with their US counterparts on a number of occasions. We are working closely with a range of partners including the US to tackle disinformation, whatever its source or intent. The Government recognises the potential challenges artificial intelligence and digitally manipulated content such as deepfakes may pose and we are considering these issues carefully as part of work to tackle online manipulation and disinformation.

Q
(Haltemprice and Howden)
Asked on: 22 May 2019
Department for Education
Schools: Artificial Intelligence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential benefit of Artificial Intelligence in the classroom.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 04 June 2019

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a complex, emerging area. The Department has seen some outstanding examples of AI and machine learning being used within schools and colleges in England to support teachers to deliver curriculum content as well as to automate burdensome non-teaching tasks such as marking.

However, the impact of these technologies in the classroom still remains largely unevidenced. We have set up a new AI Horizon Scanning group, so that policy, digital and delivery teams within the Department can explore how AI may impact our policies, as well as the benefits it can bring to the education system.

The Department also regularly engages with those at the cutting edge of these technologies. For example, the Department is a member of the new Institute for Ethical AI & Machine Learning.

Asked on: 14 May 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Wind Power
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the difficulties associated with the maintenance of wind turbines and associated equipment; and what steps they are taking, if any, to work with the offshore wind energy industry to address such difficulties.
A
Answered by: Lord Henley
Answered on: 28 May 2019

Operators are responsible for maintaining turbines and associated equipment for their projects.

The Offshore Wind Innovation Hub, a collaboration between Innovate UK and ORE Catapult, has jointly agreed innovation priorities around four areas, one of which is operations & maintenance and windfarm lifecycle. As set out in the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, the sector will look to build on existing work by, for example, exploring the application of robotics and Artificial Intelligence in optimising maintenance and reducing costs.

The renewables share of electricity generation reached 33.3% in 2018 – a record high – with 111TWh generated from renewable sources. Offshore wind generated 26.6TWh which equated to 8% of the UK’s overall annual generation.

Asked on: 09 May 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Artificial Intelligence: Data Protection
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage large providers of artificial intelligence technology to ensure greater privacy rights for customers.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 21 May 2019

The Data Protection Act 2018 set new standards for protecting personal data, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation. It imposed strict obligations on organisations to ensure that personal data is processed safely and securely. Organisations which fail to comply with the new legislation may be investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office and subject to substantial fines.

All organisations that process personal information must comply with data protection principles. One of these principles states that organisations shall be fair, lawful and transparent in the collection and use of personal data. That means all relevant organisations, including providers of artificial intelligence technology, must clearly explain and justify what they will be doing with personal information that they collect.

The Government has also recently set up the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation to identify and address any gaps in the data and AI governance landscape, as and when they emerge. The Centre will provide independent expert advice to Government on the measures needed to enable and ensure safe, ethical and innovative use of data and technology.

Asked on: 30 April 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Artificial Intelligence
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have plans to invest in projects to improve the development of artificial intelligence in the UK.
A
Answered by: Lord Henley
Answered on: 14 May 2019

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.

The AI Sector Deal, announced in April 2018, outlines up to £0.95bn package of support for the sector, which includes Government, industry and academic contributions.

Since the Sector Deal launch the Government has invested in a number of areas. For example:

  • Announcement of £20 million Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) support for Next Generation Services using artificial intelligence, and £210 million ISCF support for Data to early diagnostics and precision medicine which includes using AI to analyse medical images in digital pathology.
  • Funded up to £50m for five new centres of excellence for digital pathology and imaging, including radiology, using AI medical advances.
  • Funded £30m for the new Bayes Centre in Edinburgh, a world-leading centre of data science and AI in October 2018.
  • £3m for three new research projects to investigate how businesses can make best use of AI in insurance and law as well as analysing consumer attitudes to AI.
  • Announced up to £79 million of Government funding to study 5 million healthy people to develop new diagnostic tests using AI.
  • Announced up to £79 million for three new AI programmes to transform engineering, urban planning and healthcare.
  • Announced £600,000 funding for UK-Korea Health Sciences collaboration to focus on better diagnosis of dementia through the use of AI.
  • 40 artificial intelligence and data analytics projects, backed by £13 million in Government, announced to boost productivity and improve customer service.

Our ambition in AI and data will not stop at the Sector Deal. This is only the start of the UK’s plans to be recognised as a place where ingenuity and entrepreneurship can flourish, where technology follows the highest ethical standards and where the transformative potential of this technology is spread across the UK economy more widely and for the betterment of society.

Q
(Mid Sussex)
[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: 07 May 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Business: Artificial Intelligence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what guidance his Department has issued to businesses on preparing their workforce for the effect of the introduction of Artificial Intelligence.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 13 May 2019

The Industrial Strategy sets out the Government’s vision to make the UK a global centre for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data innovation. We have committed to improving the UK's system for training in digital skills and lifelong learning, to ensure that working people have the support they need to benefit from the opportunities offered by automation towards a higher-wage future. Government is in regular discussion with business and business representative organisations, including issues affecting the workforce.

The AI Sector Deal brings together commitments from Government, Industry and Academia in a £0.95bn package of support to promote the adoption and use of AI, supported by up to £110 million government investment, which includes:

  • 16 New Centres for Doctoral Training at universities across the country, delivering 1,000 new PhDs over the next 5 years;
  • New prestigious AI fellowships to attract and retain the top AI talent, underpinned by up to £50m of funding agreed at Autumn Budget; and
  • Industry-funding for new AI Masters places.

Government is investing £406 million in maths, digital and technical education, and in the 2018 Autumn Budget, my rt. hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced an initial £100 million to start the roll out of the National Retraining Scheme, an ambitious, far-reaching programme to drive adult learning and retraining.

Q
(Mid Sussex)
[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: 07 May 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services: Artificial Intelligence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department has issued to businesses in the healthcare sector on preparing their workforce for the effect of the introduction of Artificial Intelligence.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 13 May 2019

The Department is leading on the Prime Minister’s Mission to ‘Use data, Artificial Intelligence and innovation to transform the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases by 2030.’ We hope that as we work towards this overall goal, we can ensure that patients experience better care, clinicians deliver better care, commissioners are better able to commission data-driven technologies and the United Kingdom is a great place to do business in artificial intelligence for health and care.

We are working in partnership with organisations across the National Health Service, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Office for Life Sciences, Office for Artificial Intelligence and Better Regulation Executive to engage with businesses in the sector so that we benefit from the potential for artificial intelligence to improve care, deliver better outcomes, contribute to efficiency in the health and care system and contribute to the wider economy. In September 2018, we published the Code of Conduct for Data-Driven Health and Care Technology, which clearly sets out the behaviours we expect from those developing artificial intelligence and related technologies. The Code was updated in February 2019 based on feedback, including from industry partners, and we are working with them to develop case studies showing good practice in complying with the Code. We are also developing tools to help businesses comply the Code of Conduct.

We are also working closely with Health Education England as they follow through on the recommendations made by the Topol Review ‘Preparing the healthcare workforce to deliver the digital future.’

In March 2019, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence published its Evidence Standards Framework for Digital Health Technologies, outlining the evidence required by businesses to demonstrate the effectiveness and economic impact of digital health technologies.

Asked on: 24 April 2019
Ministry of Defence
Autonomous Weapons
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have received about the Ministry of Defence's definition of an autonomous weapons system since the publication of the report of the House of Lords Artificial Intelligence Committee AI in the UK: Ready, Willing and Able on 16 April 2018.
A
Answered by: Earl Howe
Answered on: 09 May 2019

Her Majesty's Government has received some representations on this subject from Parliamentarians. The House of Lords report recommended that "the UK's definition of autonomous weapons should be realigned to be the same, or similar, as that used by the rest of the world". However, the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons Group of Government Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems is yet to achieve consensus on an internationally accepted definition or set of characteristics for autonomous weapons.

Q
Asked by Paul Farrelly
(Newcastle-under-Lyme)
Asked on: 29 April 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Artificial Intelligence: Employment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps he has taken to train and prepare workers for the impact of artificial intelligence.
A
Answered by: Kelly Tolhurst
Answered on: 08 May 2019

The Industrial Strategy sets out the Government’s vision to make the UK a global centre for AI and data innovation, alongside measures to ensure our people are equipped to capitalise on those opportunities.

We are improving the UK's system for training in digital skills and lifelong learning to ensure that working people have the support they need to navigate the challenge of automation to a higher-wage future. Through the Industrial Strategy we are delivering:

  • 16 New Centres for Doctoral Training at universities across the country, delivering 1,000 new PhDs over the next 5 years;
  • New prestigious AI fellowships to attract and retain the top AI talent, underpinned by up to £50m of funding agreed at Autumn Budget
  • Industry-funding for new AI Masters places;
  • Invested £406m in maths, digital and technical education; and
  • Committed £100m for the first phase of developing the National Retraining Scheme to support people vulnerable to technological change.

The Government’s Good Work Plan was published in December 2018 and will ensure that the labour market continues to work for everyone. The Plan commits to a wide range of policy and legislative changes to ensure that workers can access fair and decent work, that both employers and workers have the clarity they need to understand their employment relationships, and that the enforcement system is fair and fit for purpose.

Q
Asked by Henry Smith
(Crawley)
Asked on: 24 April 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services: Artificial Intelligence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to implement the recommendations in the report by the all-party parliamentary group on Heart and Circulatory Diseases entitled Putting patients at the heart of artificial intelligence.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 02 May 2019

There is a cross-cutting programme of work across the health and care system, led by NHSX, which delivers on the All Party Parliamentary Group recommendations and ensure that only the best and safest Artificial Intelligence systems are used by the National Health Service. The programme will also make it easier for suppliers to develop technologies that tackle some of the biggest issues in healthcare. Officials from the Department were part of the advisory board for the report and supported the development of the recommendations.

Q
Asked by Henry Smith
(Crawley)
Asked on: 24 April 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services: Artificial Intelligence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps NHSX will take to ensure that patients are (a) informed about and (b) engaged in the use of artificial intelligence in healthcare.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 02 May 2019

NHSX is driven by user needs, so any technology we introduce, including that related to artificial intelligence (AI), must be done with, and not for patients. We are developing a policy toolkit for responsibly applied AI in health and care, and we are working closely with public voice organisations to ensure that patients are involved and engaged.

We are also developing tools to help technology vendors comply with principle 7 of the Code of Conduct for Data-Driven Health and Care Technology: "Show what type of algorithm is being developed or deployed, the ethical examination of how the data is used, how its performance will be validated and how it will be integrated into health and care provision." In the middle of April these tools were tested with patients and we are currently refining based on the feedback we received.

We will continue to engage with patients as we work to maintain and improve public trust and patient safety.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 18 April 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Digital Technology
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what his priorities are for the digital economy in the next five years.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 30 April 2019

We have a number of priorities for the digital economy in the next five years, in line with both our Digital Strategy and Industrial Strategy. Firstly, we will ensure that the UK remains the best place to start and grow a digital business. We will do this by fostering a supportive business environment, encouraging support to scale-ups, and by means of access to talent. Secondly, we want to ensure that the UK is well positioned to develop and adopt emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) to drive productivity. This will be achieved by means of the AI sector deal, funding for research posts, and by meeting our target of public and private sector investment in R&D to reach 2.4% of GDP by 2027. Thirdly, we will ensure that the benefits and opportunities of technology, including digital connectivity, are felt by all and are spread across the UK. A key priority is to achieve Government plans to have 15 million premises connected to full fibre (so-called 'outside-in') by 2025, and nationwide coverage by 2033. We will continue to deliver the Digital Skills Partnership to improve digital capability across the whole skills spectrum. Importantly, we will continue to emphasise the importance of diversity within the tech sector, as this is an area I feel strongly about.

The Online Harms White Paper sets out the Government’s plans for world leading laws to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online. These will make companies more responsible for their users’ safety online, especially children and other vulnerable groups. A new statutory duty of care is being introduced, to make companies take responsibility for the safety of their users and to tackle harm caused by content or activity on their services. Compliance with this duty of care will be overseen and enforced by an independent regulator. The establishment of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI), to investigate and advise on how we maximise the benefits of data-enabled technologies, including AI, is also an important step forward.

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