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UK Government and industry team up to take on AI challenge with £1bn deal


A deal between Government and industry will see a £1billion investment in artificial intelligence (AI), which aims to help put the UK at the forefront of the AI industry.

The arrangement follows the announcement of the Government’s Industrial Strategy in which AI was outlined as one of the UK’s four ‘grand challenges’, and includes almost £300million of private sector investment.

Commenting on the deal, Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark, said: “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.”

This is said to be the initial phase of a “major innovation-focused drive investment in AI”, which intends to help the UK seize the £232bn opportunity it offers the UK economy by 2030.

Investments will include Japanese venture capital firm, Global Brain, opening its first European headquarters and investing £35m in UK tech start-ups; a £10m AI supercomputer from the University of Cambridge; and Vancouver-based capital firm, Chrysalix, opening a European headquarters and investing £110m in AI and robotics.

The deal will also see the Alan Turing Institute and Rolls-Royce join forces with several research projects exploring data science and AI; as well as an investment into training 8,000 specialist computer science teachers, and 1,000 AI PhDs by 2025.

The government also intends for £20m to fund the UK’s services industries in a hope to identify how AI can enhance operations in other sectors, including law and insurance.

High growth into regional tech hubs across the country will also come from a £21m investment into what the Government is calling, ‘Tech Nation’, which hopes to create a tech network for entrepreneurs. Tech Nation aims to establish an internationally-respected programme for mid-stage AI companies which will try help bring them to scale.

The deal will also see work into creating a “world-leading” centre for a Data Ethics and Innovation.

“As with all innovation there is also the potential for misuse which puts the whole sector under scrutiny and undermines public confidence,” Greg Clark, explained. “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.”

Bethan Grylls

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