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Government pledges to ‘nurture our AI pioneers’

18th March 2021 about a 3 minute read
“In 2020 UK firms adopting or creating AI-based technologies received £1.78bn in funding, compared to £525m raised by French companies and £386m raised in Germany”. Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech Nation

The government is to publish a new AI strategy later this year with the aim of making the UK a global AI centre.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden has set out the Ten Tech Priorities behind the strategy for the development, commercialisation and adoption of ‘responsible AI’.

The new strategy will focus on:

  • Growth of the economy through widespread use of AI technologies
  • Ethical, safe and trustworthy development of responsible AI
  • Resilience in the face of change through an emphasis on skills, talent and R&D.

Announcing the initiative Mr Dowden said: “Unleashing the power of AI is a top priority in our plan to be the most pro-tech government ever.

“The UK is already a world leader in this revolutionary technology and the new AI Strategy will help us seize its full potential – from creating new jobs and improving productivity to tackling climate change and delivering better public services”.

He added that the Government will building on the principles set out in the UK’s AI Sector Deal, updated in May 2019, to develop and deliver the AI Strategy. 

It will consider recommendations from the independent experts on the AI Council, which published its AI Roadmap in January, alongside input from industry, academia and the public.

New technologies to market

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng added: “Through this strategy we will nurture our AI pioneers to accelerate bringing new technologies to market, unlock high-skilled jobs, drive up productivity and cement the UK’s status as a global science superpower”.

In January the government updated its Research and Development Roadmap which sets out the ambition of raising spending on R&D to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

Tabitha Goldstaub, Co-founder of CognitionX, AI Council Chair and AI Business Champion commented:

“We are committed to working with the Office for AI to ensure that the wider AI Ecosystem is represented in the next phase and together ensure the UK economy and society benefits from Artificial Intelligence”.

Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech Nation, added: “UK AI continues to go from strength-to-strength: in 2020 UK firms that were adopting or creating AI-based technologies received £1.78bn in funding, compared to £525m raised by French companies and £386m raised in Germany”.

Baroness Joanna Shields OBE, CEO of BenevolentAI, Co-Chair of the GPAI Steering Committee and Chair of the GPAI Multi-stakeholder Experts Group Plenary said that AI was vital for the future of the UK’s economy, security and society.

“This National Strategy on AI is key to defining and realising this vision… As we build back after COVID-19, this investment in technology could not be more important.”