Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 13 March 2024

Diversity Row Erupts at National AI Institute After 180 Staff Sign Letter Questioning “Inclusivity” of Hiring Four Male Scientists

A diversity row has erupted at the U.K.’s national AI institute after staff signed a letter questioning the “inclusivity” of the appointment of four male senior scientists. The Telegraph has more.

Employees and researchers at the Alan Turing Institute, Britain’s flagship data science and AI research organisation set up in 2015, questioned whether its “commitment to inclusivity” was being followed in its hiring process.

More than 180 people signed the letter, which was first reported by the Guardian, after four top male academics were appointed in February. The signatories said the hiring suggested a “continuing trend of limited diversity within the institute’s senior scientific leadership”.

In the letter, addressed to Chief Executive Dr. Jean Innes and its Operations Lead and Chief Scientist, the staff said: “This is an excellent time to reflect on whether all voices are being heard and if the institute’s commitment to inclusivity is being fully realised in our recruitment and decision-making practices.”

The protest comes after the Government agreed to hand the institute a further £100m over the next five years for research focusing on “grand challenges” in the use of data and AI in healthcare, defence and sustainability.

Four new scientists, including experts from UCL and Imperial College London, were hired to help lead those efforts. All were men.

The staff who signed the letter to the Turing Institute’s leadership said their intention was “not to undermine” the scientists’ credentials, but they added: “Our aim is to highlight a broader issue within our institute’s approach to diversity and inclusivity, particularly in scientific leadership roles, with a specific eye towards gender diversity.”

Four of the 12 research programme directors at the institute are women.

Dr. Innes, the chief executive of the Alan Turing Institute, said: “Our appointments are made through free and fair competition and on the basis of merit. We recognise the critical importance of diverse leadership and welcome dialogue with our community about what more we can do.

“As the national institute for data science and AI we are committed to increasing the proportion of under-represented groups in these fields.”

Read More: Diversity Row Erupts at National AI Institute After 180 Staff Sign Letter Questioning “Inclusivity” of Hiring Four Male Scientists

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