UK Government to Invest £17 Million to Boost AI Development

UK Government to Invest £17 Million to Boost AI Development

Ed Lauder

March 1, 2017

3 Min Read

As well as carrying out a major AI review to identify how they can best help the advancement of exciting new technologies in Britain, the UK government has also set aside a hefty £17 million investment in AI.

The UK is already home to some of the most innovative AI and tech companies in the world, however, the government is now seriously looking into how they can increase the country’s digital innovation and make it a pivotal player in the field. They have now set out a ‘Digital Strategy’ which the government hopes will turn Britain into a world leader in the digital market, and will also help boost the UK’s economy.

Incorporated in this Digital Strategy is an AI review, led by Wendy Hall (Regius Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton) and Jérôme Pesenti (CEO of BenevolentTech), in which they will identify how to ensure that this exciting technology can thrive and grow in Britain. Hall and Pesenti’s review will also consider how government and industry can work together to encourage the advancement of AI.

Accenture has estimated that AI could help boost the UK economy exponentially. The company reported that by 2035, AI could potentially bring in £654 billion to the UK economy, which explains Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley and the UK government’s increased interest in the fast-growing tech.

The Digital Strategy mentions that the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has set aside £17.3 million with the intention to support new Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (RAI) in universities all across the UK.

Karen Bradley MP stated that this new Digital Strategy will set, “A path to make Britain the best place to start and grow a digital business, trial a new technology, or undertake advanced research as part of the Government’s plan to build a modern, dynamic and global trading nation.”

“We are already pioneers in today’s artificial intelligence revolution and the Digital Strategy will build on our strengths to make sure UK-based scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs continue to be at the forefront,” said Bradley.

This Digital Strategy and the increase in funding in AI is all part of the UK’s big plan to make itself a pioneer in the field, thus becoming a global leader in the market, which would not only be a benefit economically, but would also benefit the UK populous and our quality of life.

Jérôme Pesenti was keen to stress the importance that AI will have in our everyday lives. “Like the previous tech revolutions, AI will make the world a better place creating better medicine, personalised healthcare, more efficient transportation, smarter manufacturing and computers that adapt to us rather than us having to adapting to them,” he said. It’s no wonder that the UK government is so keen to make sure they are at the forefront of this new and exciting technology.

You can learn more about the government's position on AI at our AI Summit in London on the 9th and 10th of May where Alan Mak MP, the chair of the All-Party Parliamentarian Group on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, will be a speaker.

Image Credit: Diliff

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