Dr Will Cavendish CB, DeepMind Applied

Dr Will Cavendish CB is Strategy Lead for DeepMind Applied. In this role he is responsible for helping take the incredible breakthroughs in artificial intelligence coming from DeepMind’s research, and applying them to solve major social problems in the world. At the moment he is focussing strongly on Health and Energy, where DeepMind has a number of exciting existing partnerships and is looking also to develop new areas of collaboration and impact.

Previously, Will held a number of senior roles in government. Most recently he was Director General for Innovation, Growth & Technology at the Department of Health, where he was responsible for promoting innovation and technology in the NHS to bring about a major transformation in health outcomes and in health and care delivery. Previously he was Head of the Prime Minister’s Implementation Unit, responsible for implementing the then-Prime Minister’s top policy priorities across the whole of government; and Director General for International Energy and Climate Change at the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

As a senior civil servant in the UK government, Will led a series of breakthrough projects – driving the start of the mass take-up of online booking and prescription services in the NHS, negotiating landmark deals that made new drugs and vaccines available to NHS patients for the first time, and co-creating Change4Life, the acclaimed social movement tackling obesity and physical inactivity. He led the creation of the world’s first network of What Works Centres, set up to provide hard evidence on effective uses of public money, and pioneered the use of transparency and crowdsourcing in policy making with initiatives such as MyNHS and the Red Tape Challenge.

Will has held a number of non-executive positions with organisations including the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and the Coram Children’s Charity. He has also had a distinguished career as an economist, working for the World Bank and a number of other international agencies, lecturing at Oxford University and Imperial College, and holding a doctorate in economics from Oxford University. He was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath by Her Majesty the Queen in 2015.

NPC Ignites conference session:

Keynote: Artificial Intelligence— learning from another sector
AI is already transforming the way some organisations work and deliver services. In this session we will hear from DeepMind to explore:

  • What is AI?
  • What are current AI trends and what is likely to happen next?
  • How might AI transform public services and the social sector?