David Cameron to lead advisory board of AI firm

Former prime minister David Cameron is to chair the advisory board of Washington-based artificial intelligence company, Afiniti.

Mr Cameron quit Downing Street in the wake of the 2016 EU referendum in which voters backed leaving the bloc.

He subsequently stood down as MP for Witney saying he was “going to have to start to build a life outside Westminster”.

It was recently announced his autobiography – For The Record – will be published in September, a month before the 31 October deadline Brussels has given the government to get a Brexit deal through parliament.

As a member of the advisory board, Afiniti says the former Conservative Party leader will advise “on critical issues to the company as it continues to expand in markets around the world”.

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Image: The former PM’s autobiography is due to be published in September

His recruitment marks the latest move by the advanced tech industry to take on former politicians and policymakers in the face of continuing controversy around the use of personal data and proliferation of “fake news”, leading to growing calls for regulation.

Last year, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg hired Mr Cameron’s former coalition colleague Sir Nick Clegg as a lobbyist for the social media giant.

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Announcing Mr Cameron’s appointment, Afiniti said: “As the opportunities and challenges associated with artificial intelligence become increasingly clear, Mr Cameron’s experience of political leadership through periods of complexity, both domestically and on the international stage, will be invaluable as Afiniti focuses on driving growth by delivering tangible benefits to clients.

“Mr Cameron’s personal interest in the potential for artificial intelligence to improve healthcare outcomes, create new growth and jobs, and contribute to wider social and economic prosperity will be particular focus areas for him.”

The former prime minister said his administration had taken a series of steps to ensure the UK was successful in the new tech industries, from developing Tech City in London through to supporting entrepreneurs and creating the government digital service.

He said: “As part of this work, I was excited to see the rapid development in artificial intelligence and the huge potential AI has to address some of the challenges that societies face today.

“I have been exploring developments in AI for some time to better understand how industry and policymakers can collaborate in solving these challenges and ensuring that AI serves people’s everyday lives.”

A report commissioned by Macron concluded that authorities should have more access to Facebook's algorithms to counter hate speech
Image: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg hired Sir Nick Clegg as a lobbyist

Afiniti boss Zia Chishti said: “Our advisory board has a diverse array of senior business and political leaders who provide invaluable guidance to the company as we expand around the world.

“At Afiniti, we’re proud to be delivering real benefits through our AI technology today, helping to drive significant value to clients across industries. Afiniti is about raising the productivity of companies.

“David’s deep personal commitment to this issue makes him perfectly-placed to lead our advisory board and support Afiniti in our next stage of growth.”

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