Home Government UK Joins AI Race by Unveiling a $1.4B Investment

UK Joins AI Race by Unveiling a $1.4B Investment

The UK government, Japanese venture capital, European telecoms firms and US technology giants have recently invested 1 billion pounds or $1.4 billion into the United Kingdom artificial intelligence (AI) industry.

This move comes as governments try to find ways of competing with China in the AI space.

The new deal consists a whopping 300 million pounds of new government spending, 300 million pounds of private funding and an extra 400 million pounds that was announced by the state.

According to business secretary Greg Clark, artificial intelligence (AI) offers infinite opportunities to create new, accessible and efficient products and services.

The recent endeavor makes up the fourth sector deal to be unveiled under the Industrial Strategy, which is part of a flagship policy that according to Prime Minister Theresa May was designed to trigger considerable economic growth.

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Other deals have been made in various sectors including creative, automotive and life sciences.

Britain’s increased focus on AI propels her to the list of other countries such as China that view this new technology as a key determiner of their future position in the world. Last year, China set a goal to become a leader in artificial intelligence by 2030.

The UK Trade Commissioner for North America, Antony Phillipson said Britain could be at the front row seat of discussions relating to regulation, safety, and ethics of using AI ahead of the reports that the UK cannot rival China in terms of total financing of AI projects.

Recently, the European Commission asserted that it has to invest a minimum of 20 billion euros ($24 billion) in AI by 2020, and ought to pledge a similar amount every year.

In the recently made UK government’s deal, Chrysalix, a Canadian VC firm, will be expected not only to set up a UK-based office but also invest 110 million pounds in both robotics and AI.

Additionally, Japan-based Global Brain will launch European headquarter offices in the UK and invest about 35 million pounds in technology startups within the next five years.

Additionally, US-based tech firms like International Business Machines Corp, Facebook Inc., and Microsoft Corp are also said to be pledging undisclosed investment commitments.

Aside from the input of leading technology firms, The University of Cambridge agreed to create an AI supercomputer worth a staggering 10 million pounds.

The university will make the computer readily available for businesses to use. What’s more, the UK government said it would finance 1,000 new Ph.D. spaces for those focusing on AI and facilitate training of new 8,000 UK secondary school computer science teachers.

The government will also set aside 9 million pounds to create a new Center for Data Ethics, which would assist in researching codes of conduct and principles for the ethical use of machine learning and AI safety.

Even so, Rolls Royce Holdings Plc. would be jointly involved in running the project. Phillipson said that if the UK government is going to capitalize on the opportunity for innovation in the sectors involved, it needs a good balance between regulation and innovation.

He added that the new center based at the Alan Turing Institute would assist regulators in knowing how to strike such a balance.

Source Bloomberg

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KC Cheung
KC Cheung has over 18 years experience in the technology industry including media, payments, and software and has a keen interest in artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, neural networks and its applications in business. Over the years he has worked with some of the leading technology companies, building and growing dynamic teams in a fast moving international environment.
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