Announcing the Civic AI Observatory
The Observatory will focus on immediate practical insights on AI for digital leads, including case studies of civic applications, examples of digital strategies and organisational policies, and the impact on the job market, as well as helping to develop communities of practice for specific domains.
“It is critical that civil society organisations not only keep up with this swiftly changing field but do so in a way that reflects their values. There is immense potential to advance how data is used in public services or social movements and we’re excited to help organisations achieve that through the Civic AI Observatory.”
James Plunkett, Chief Practices Officer, Nesta
While opportunities and risks from AI have dominated the discourse in the past year, it remains unclear how most organisations should develop a realistic strategy for Generative AI. Civic organisations may find it especially difficult due to the challenges they face from limited capacity and resources, and it is tempting to pretend that it’s something that can be safely ignored.
“The implications for civic organisations are not yet obvious and rightly there’s a lot of scepticism, but it’s clear that one way or another there will be significant implications for everyone. This is not just about ChatGPT - soon enough all kinds of digital products will have integrations with Generative AI, including ones your organisation already uses, or that your key stakeholders use! If you’re a digital lead and you want to have a serious answer for how it will affect your organisation, it can feel like a full time job to keep up with what is happening week to week. The Civic AI Observatory is here to help you stay on top of what is relevant to you.”
Edward Saperia, Dean of Newspeak House
You can follow and contribute to the Observatory’s work by subscribing to its newsletter. Through this you’ll get regular insights and analysis, as well as invitations to events and workshops tailored to diverse groups from civil society, including senior leaders, funders and capability-builders, technologists, and practitioners.
If you or your organisation are currently considering a project related to integrating generative AI into your work, or if you've come across anything interesting in this field that we should know about, we encourage you to reach out: email@example.com
An advisory board consisting of a wide range of civil leaders and technologists will contribute to the initiative, including:
Lisa Murphy – Technology Lead for the Data for Science & Health team, Wellcome Trust
Gaia Marcus – Deputy director of strategy, programme and partnerships, Spatial Data Unit, DLUHC
Jo Kerr – Director of Impact & Innovation, Turn2us
Francis Irving – Co-founder, mySociety
Zoe Amar – Director, Zoe Amar Digital & Charity Digital Skills Report
Imeh Akpan – Head of Design Research, TPXImpact
Karlis Kanders – Senior Data Foresight Lead, Nesta
Jess Morley – PhD in AI & health, Oxford Internet Institute
Richard Pope – Co-founder, UK Government Digital Service, Director pt2.works
Andreas Kirsch – PhD in Machine Learning, University of Oxford
Hannah O’Rourke – Director, Campaign Lab
Eirini Malliaraki – Head of Programme, Deep Science Ventures
Dan Kwiatkowski – Consultant AI Engineer
Kim Lawrie – Head of Creative & Emerging Tech, House 337/Next 15
Peyman Owladi – Charity CTO & Consultant
Lewis Westbury – Senior Developer, Centre for Collective Intelligence Design, Nesta
Matt Stempeck – Curator, Civic Tech Field Guide
Maggie Appleton – Product Design, Ought
About Newspeak House
Newspeak House, The London College of Political Technology, is an independent residential college founded in 2015. Our mission is to study, nurture and inspire emerging communities of practice across civil society and the public sector in the UK.
For the past decade Newspeak House has served as the primary hub in London for applied technology and society activity, bringing together a wide array of institutions from academia, government, civil society groups, and tech communities in its centrally located campus. It is also home to a one year residential programme on political technology for emerging leaders in the field. Find out more at newspeak.house
Nesta is the UK's innovation agency for social good. We design, test and scale solutions to society's biggest problems. Our three missions are to give every child a fair start, help people live healthy lives, and create a sustainable future where the economy works for both people and the planet.
For over 20 years, we have worked to support, encourage and inspire innovation. We work in three roles: as an innovation partner working with frontline organisations to design and test new solutions, as a venture builder supporting new and early stage businesses, and as a system shaper creating the conditions for innovation. Harnessing the rigour of science and the creativity of design, we work relentlessly to change millions of lives for the better. Find out more at nesta.org.uk.