Episode 86

The Turing Institute: Using AI ethically with the power of Open Source


13 June 2024

44 mins 51 secs

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CHAOSScast – Episode 86

In this episode of CHAOSScast, co-hosts Alice Sowerby and Dawn Foster welcome guests Aida Mehonic, Malvika Sharan, and Kirstie Whittaker from The Alan Turing Institute. The discussion begins with delving into the Institute's strategic vision, focused on using data science and AI to address global challenges in environment, health, and security. They examine the role of open source contributions in enhancing the ethical, accessible, and impactful uses of AI. The episode highlights various projects, such as The Turing Way, and the importance of community building, inclusive research practices, and the ethical considerations of AI. They also discuss the integration of CHAOSS metrics in their work and explore future projects and initiatives at The Alan Turing Institute. Press download now to hear more!

[00:02:58] Kirstie gives an overview of The Turing Institute’s strategic vision and explains the three missions.

[00:06:22] Aida talks about the importance of communicating with organizations to align on a shared mission and the impact and value of money of publicly funded projects.

[00:08:38] Malvika brings in the stakeholders ensuring that users, communities, and patients have a say in AI development and empowering educators to incorporate AI, also she talks about working across different projects like Data Science Without Borders and BridgeAI, to accelerate AI’s impact on health and SME’s.

[00:11:02] The conversation switches to embracing ethical AI usage and encouraging others to do the same. Kirstie details the ethical components of AI using the SAFE-D approach: Safety and sustainability, Accountability, Fairness and non-discrimination, Explainability and transparency, and Data quality, integrity, protection, and privacy.

[00:17:17] Malvika talks about the importance of considering the societal impact of research at The Turing Institute, she highlights the differences between the EU AI Act and the open source community approach and emphasizes that users should know their rights regarding data collection and sharing.

[00:19:49] Aida tells us about a case study on A/B street, an open source street planning tool. They partnered up with Bristol City Council and used this tool to facilitate community involvement in urban planning decisions.

[00:23:52] Aida mentions having conversation she’s been in has focused on at Turing on democratizing technology to reach a broader set of end users.

[00:24:14] Dawn loves Turing’s collaborative approach and acknowledges the challenges in making AI and data science intuitive for everyone.

[00:24:54] Kirstie discusses the difficulty of meaningful stakeholder engagement. She talks about the importance of being willing to pivot project goals based on community feedback.

[00:26:51] Alice brings up CHAOSS metrics and inquires how they fit into The Turing Institute’s work. Malvika explains that CHAOSS metrics is one of the only metrics that help them for understanding equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in community health.

[00:31:00] Dawn highlights the need to combine quantitative metrics with qualitative research. Kirstie shares that data scientists often don’t see their work as part of open source or community led projects. Aida comments on using CHAOSS metrics to justify the impact of open source research funded by taxpayer money.

[00:36:05] Dawn asks about the future focus areas for The Turing Institute. Kirstie mentions the BridgeAI Initiative to support SMEs in the UK in leveraging data and the expansion of The Turing Way Practitioner Hub to support experts in organizations and foster global knowledge exchange.

[00:38:28] Aida shares her excitement about a potential incubator at Turing focused on pathways to impact for research. Malvika shares her excitement for professionalization and recognition of various data science roles.

Value Adds (Picks) of the week:

  • [00:40:54] Dawn’s pick is GitHub’s GraphQL API.
  • [00:41:21] Malvika’s pick is celebrating 5 years of The Turing Way.
  • [00:41:53] Aida’s pick is the incubator she talked about earlier.
  • [00:42:26] Kirstie’s pick is the Organizational Mycology team: Dan Sholler, Beth Duckles, and Jonah Duckles.
  • [00:43:30] Alice’s pick is listening to some podcasts about nuclear semiotics.

Alice Sowerby

Dawn Foster


Aida Mehonic

Malvika Sharan

Kirstie Whitaker



CHAOSS Project X/Twitter

CHAOSScast Podcast


Dawn Foster X/Twitter

Alice Sowerby Website

Aida Mehonic LinkedIn

Dr. Aida Mehonic-The Alan Turing Institute

Malvika Sharan LinkedIn

Dr. Malvika Sharan-The Alan Turing Institute

Kirstie Whitaker LinkedIn

Dr. Kirstie Whitaker-The Alan Turing Institute

The Alan Turing Institute

The Turing Way

Launch of the Data Science Without Borders Project


‘Using AI in the public sector: New comprehensive guidance’-The Alan Turing Institute

AI Ethics and Governance in Practice-The Alan Turing Institute

Operationalising the SAFE-D principles for Open Source AI-Open Source Initiative

A/B Street

‘Street smart: putting neighbourhood design in the hands of Bristol residents’-The Alan Turing Institute

The Turing Way Practitioners Hub

GraphQL API-GitHub

Organizational Mycology

American Hysteria Podcast-Talking to the Future: Nuclear Semiotics

99% Invisible Podcast: Ten Thousand Years Episode 114

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