by Stacey Hughes


LONDON – The writing is on the wall: the AI industry is facing such extreme race and gender disparity that the sector has reached a crisis point. That’s according to a report from the AI Now Institute, which found that while more than 80 percent of AI professors are men, a mere 18 percent of conference speakers are women. People of colour are even less well-represented, making up a mere 2.5% of Google’s workforce. Meanwhile, AI bias is a rapidly growing concern and as Payal Jain, Chair of Women in Data, says: if you don’t have diverse teams, you can’t spot bias in the first place.

Since our founding, we’ve prided ourselves on showcasing the best in AI and business leadership through The AI Summit and AI Business. This is set to continue from June 12-13 at The AI Summit London. During London Tech Week, we’re bringing together an unprecedented 20,000 senior Fortune 500 decisionmakers, technologists, and startups to share cutting-edge AI thought leadership, break new deals, and build the future of business. 


Related: Addressing the implications of AI for individuals seeking payday loans


Leadership, however, isn’t just about job titles. It’s about building and delivering positive long-term change. While we can’t transform the makeup of the AI workforce or STEM overnight, we can take the lead in facilitating that change. This year, we’re determined not to drop the ball on diversity and inclusion—and to ensure that, we’re extremely proud to announce the launch of our Inclusive Innovation programme at this year’s AI Summit.

We’re not only banning ‘manels’. Today marks the launch of TechXLR8 and London Tech Week’s Inclusive Innovation initiative for The AI Summit, and for us, this means we’re building a platform exclusively dedicated to marginalized voices within the AI space. Inclusive Innovation sees us partner with several inspirational, world-class organizations across our events and media platform, from DevelopHer and Women in Data to the New Statesman and Black in AI.

We have also partnered with Tech For Life who in return have provided a mentor for WISE’s My skills, My life’ programme. My Skills, My Life was designed to meet our partner WISE’s commitment to engage more girls to consider studies and careers in STEM – and reach 200,000 girls in the next 5 years. Providing mentors for young girls is a cause we are fully supportive of and is instrumental for helping to close the gender gap in technology.

Beyond The AI Summit, these partnerships are set to deliver real, valuable opportunities to people most underrepresented in this field throughout the calendar year. As AI assumes an ever-greater role in our society, it is up to us to ensure that nobody gets left behind. To find out how you can get involved, read on for the full Inclusive Innovation and ethical agenda across both days of the event – and head over to our new Inclusive Innovation section on AI Business for exclusive content.

Day 1 – June 12

  • XPRIZE ethical AI drop-in test center Expo floor – All day

Test your AI product’s ethics at this XPRIZE drop-in center

This breakfast will bring together 100-150 business and innovation leaders to address the startling lack of diversity in AI.

  • Keynote: ‘Emerging AI risk governance at banks’Financial Services Summit – 09:50-10:10

This keynote will be led by Annika Schröder, Executive Director of AI at UBS Group Technology

  • Keynote: ‘AI at Facebook – now and for the future’Deliver stage – 10:10 – 10:30

Speaker: Nicola Mendelsohn, VP EMEA, Facebook

  • Ark Academy coding workshopNorth Gallery Meeting Room – 12:00 – 14:00

In partnership with UpskillMe and LeWagon.com, 20 students from Ark Academy will complete a coding workshop and exhibition tour

  • Teens in AI hackathon

In partnership with ADA: The College of Digital Skills and the Teens in AI Hackathon, teen coders compete to design a tech-based solution to improve life in London

  • New Statesman Panel: ‘The socio-economic impact of AI in the UK’ – Develop stage – 13:40 – 14:20

Speakers: Eve Roodhouse, Chief Economic Development Officer of Leeds County Council; Sue Daly, AI Lead at TechUK; Duncan McCann, Economist at the New Economics Foundation; Sonali Parekh, Head of Policy at the Federation of Small Businesses. 15:45-17:15

  • Showcase: Inclusive InvestmentStartup Elevate stage – 15:45 – 17:15

In collaboration with InvestHer & VoulezCapital, this event will help investors operate effectively in AI and ensure bias and diversity are addressed.

  • Keynote: ‘AI & healthcare – objective subjectivity or subjective objectivity?’Health & Pharma Summit – 16:20 – 16:40

Speaker: Louis Derungs, Lead Neuroscience Expert, Mindmaze

  • Keynote:AI ethics & accountability’Develop stage – 17:00-17:20

Speaker: Udai Chilamkurthi, Lead Architect at Sainsbury’s


Related: AI bias isn’t a data issue – it’s a diversity issue


Day 2 – June 13

  • Keynote:Data ethics – from philosophy into practice‘ – Develop stage – 09:05 – 09:30

Speaker: Holly Armitage & Chris Blood, BAE Systems

  • Fireside chat: Driving innovation through diversity

Speakers: Carolanne Minashi, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, UBS; Allyson Zimmermann, Executive Director for Europe, Catalyst

  • Digital Ethics Lab panel:AI for social good – promises and pitfalls – Develop stage – 11:30-12:10

Speakers: Anat Elhalal, Head of AI Technology, Digital Catapult; Jessica Morley, AI Lead, NHSX; Maria Axente, AI Programme Driver, PwC UK

  • Keynote: Ethical AI – from principle to actionDeliver stage – 11:40 – 12:00

Speaker: Ed McLaughlin, President Operations & Technology, Mastercard

  • Keynote:Towards responsible AI in large enterprises‘ – Sales, Marketing & CX Summit – 12:50 – 13:10

Speaker: Richard Benjamins, Data & AI Ambassador, Telefonica

  • WIRED: Fireside chatDeliver stage – 14:40 – 15:00

Speaker: Terah Lyons, Founding Executive Director, Partnership on AI

  • Keynote: How AI can help to diagnose preventable blindnessDeliver stage – 16:40-17:00

Join me and 20,000+ other business and technology leaders transforming the future at The AI Summit London, June 12 – 13. Find out more


Stacey Hughes is the Commercial Director of The AI Summit and the Co-Chair of TechXLR8’s Inclusive Innovation programme