Tech sector backs British AI industry

Posted on 18 May 2018 and read 660 times
Tech sector backs British AI industryMore than 50 leading businesses and organisations have contributed to the development of a £1 billion deal to put the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence (AI) industry.

Moreover, the deal between government and industry — announced by Business Secretary Greg Clark and Digital Secretary Matt Hancock — includes more than £300 million of newly allocated Government funding and marks the first phase of
“a major innovation-focused investment drive in AI”.

This aims to help the UK seize the £232 billion opportunity that it is estimated AI will offer the UK economy by 2030 — some 10% of GDP.

This latest deal includes new investments such as: Japanese venture capital firm Global Brain opening its first European HQ in the UK and investing £35 million in UK ‘deep tech’ start-ups, and the University of Cambridge opening a new £10 million AI supercomputer and making its infrastructure available to businesses.

Furthermore, the Vancouver-based venture capital firm Chrysalix is also going to establish a European HQ in the UK and invest up to £110 million in AI and robotics, while the Alan Turing Institute and Rolls-Royce will jointly run research projects.

These will include exploring: how data science can be applied at scale, the application of AI across supply chains, data-centric engineering and predictive maintenance; and the role of data analytics and AI in science.

Mr Hancock said: “The UK must be at the forefront of emerging technologies, pushing boundaries and harnessing innovation to change people’s lives for the better. Artificial Intelligence is at the centre of our plans to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business.

“We have a great track record and are home to some of the world’s biggest names in AI — like Deepmind, Swiftkey and Babylon — but there is so much more we can do.

“By boosting AI skills and data-driven technologies, we will make sure that we continue to build a Britain that is shaping the future.”

The deal will help establish the UK as a research ‘hot spot’, with measures to ensure that the innovators and tech entrepreneurs of tomorrow are based in the UK, with investment in the high-level postgraduate skills needed to
capitalise on technology’s huge potential.

It includes money for training 8,000 specialist computer science teachers, 1,000 government-funded AI PhDs by 2025 and a commitment to develop a “prestigious global Turing Fellowship programme to attract the best research talent in
AI to the UK”.

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