The Institute of Analytics (IoA) recently assembled Scotland's AI and academic communities for an event at Holyrood, sponsored by Michelle Thomson MSP. The event, held on 28th November 2023, observed Scotland's leadership in deploying AI technology for the benefit of the healthcare sector.
Dr Richard Bickerton, Keynote Speaker and Chief Systems Scientist at Exscientia, stressed the critical need for recruitment and skill development in the field of data technology.
He highlighted the transformative potential of AI in the healthcare sector asserting, "It’s all about having the skills to extract value out of the data. AI can help identify new ways to target diseases, identify which drugs will work best for individual patients and even design new drug molecules – all of which reduces failure and yields better outcomes for patients."
However, Dr Bickerton emphasised the urgent need for more professionals trained in these skills. He suggested that the mandate for continuous professional development applies to everyone working in the field, keeping pace with technological advancements and maximising the potentialities offered by AI.
He further advocated for promoting careers in data and AI within schools to prevent a minority from dominating the industry at the university level.
The event welcomed numerous delegates, including Nidhin Chand, Managing Director at Guru for Scots and Vedics, representatives of various industry sectors and professional bodies, and universities, including the Russell Group.
Discussions focused on the need for community-wide digital upskilling and an inclusive approach to digitalisation that mitigates bias. Speakers agreed on the necessity of interdisciplinarity, arguing that the most impactful innovations occur when diverse teams collaborate.
Highlighting the ubiquitous impact of digitalisation across all future industries, Michelle Thomson MSP, who co-hosted the event, underscored the importance of a regulated career trajectory for all.
She suggested, “As people find themselves working in increasingly digitised work places, the likes of the IoA Analyst Competency Framework can help identify staged support and entry points regardless of education or experience.”
Dr Clare Walsh, IoA’s Director of Education, closed out the evening insisting, “The IoA empowers everyone - from those who are data curious to those seeking a mid-life career change as well as highly qualified data scientists wanting to stay ahead in this fast-paced world. Data applies to every aspect of our lives, and can make the world a better place for all of us.”
The Institute of Analytics (IoA) is a not-for-profit global body for analytics & data science professionals. Its mission is to develop and promote the highest professional and ethical standards, create awareness of the value of data analytics and its uses in society and inspire the next generation of analysts and data scientists through education.
Members are supported to stay ahead of the curve of digital transformation through access to benefits including training and upskilling, updates about advancements in technology and regulation, masterclasses and thought leadership.