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Tech Sector Backs British AI Industry with multimillion Pound investment

Islamabad: April 26, 2018. (PCP) More than 50 leading tech companies and organisations have contributed to the development of an AI deal worth almost £1 billion

1,000 new government funded AI PhDs will keep the UK at the forefront of innovation and build UK status as AI research hotspot

More than 50 leading businesses and organisations have contributed to the development of a £1 billion deal to put the nation at the forefront of the artificial intelligence industry, featuring almost £300 million of new private sector investment.

The deal between government and industry, announced by Business Secretary Greg Clark and Digital Secretary Matt Hancock today (Thursday 26 April 2018), also includes more than £300 million of newly allocated government funding for AI research to make the UK a global leader in this technology.

Building on the commitment made in the Industrial Strategy and its AI Grand Challenge, the deal marks the first phase of a major innovation-focused investment drive in AI which aims to help the UK seize the £232 billion opportunity AI offers the UK economy by 2030 (10 per cent of GDP).

The deal includes new investments such as:

Global Brain opening its first European HQ in the UK and investing £35 million tech start-ups

The University of Cambridge opening a new £10 million AI supercomputer and making its infrastructure available to businesses

Chrysalix is also going to establish a European HQ in the UK and use it to invest up to £110 million in AI and robotics

The Alan Turing Institute and Rolls-Royce will jointly-run research projects in AI

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Matt 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."

Developing AI Skills and Tech Hubs

The deal will help establish the UK as a research hotspot. It includes money for training for 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 and retain the best research talent in AI to the UK.

The Government will provide £20 million of funding to help the UK’s service industries, including law and insurance, with new pilot projects to identify how AI can transform and enhance their operations.

Another £21 million will help transform London-based Tech City UK into Tech Nation.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: “Artificial intelligence provides limitless opportunities to develop new, efficient and accessible products and services which transform the way we live and work. Today’s new deal with industry will ensure we have the right investment, infrastructure and highly-skilled workforce to establish the UK as a driving force in the development and commercial use of artificial intelligence technologies.

“As with all innovation there is also the potential for misuse which puts the whole sector under scrutiny and undermines public confidence. That is why we are establishing a new world-leading body, to ensure the ethical use of data in AI applications for the benefit of all.”

The new sector deal is the focal point of the government’s Artificial Intelligence Grand Challenge which aims to put the UK at the forefront of the AI and data revolution.

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox said:

“Today’s announcement reaffirms the UK’s place as a world leader in artificial intelligence. This government is determined that British businesses should now take the next steps to build on the growing global opportunities provided by the advancement of AI, changing the lives of millions of people.

“As an international economic department, we will help UK companies in the AI sector to forge new trading ties that will boost exports, investment and provide jobs to every part of the country.”

To better understand the ethical and security implications of data sharing and privacy breaches, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is investing £11 million in eleven new research projects, led by universities, to analyse the important challenges for people and businesses that use data and those that allow access to their data.