UK commits to trailblazing deal in artificial intelligence

By Joel Lee

Published : May 7, 2018 - 23:44
Updated : May 8, 2018 - 10:02

The British government has struck a 1 billion pound ($1.36 billion) agreement with the UK’s artificial intelligence industry to pave the way for leading the emerging internet-of-things economy, according to the British Embassy in Seoul.

More than 50 leading technology companies and organizations have made varying contributions to the Artificial Intelligence Sector Deal, with almost 300 million pounds coming from the private sector. Over 1,000 doctoral programs funded by the government will keep the United Kingdom at the forefront of innovation, with an aim to make Britain the world’s top research hotspot for artificial intelligence.

The deal marks the first phase of a major investment drive in innovation, in which artificial intelligence is expected to contribute $315 billion to the UK economy by 2030, making up 10 percent of its gross domestic product.

“Artificial Intelligence is at the center of our plans to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business,” said secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, Matt Hancock. “We have a great track record and are home to some of the world’s biggest names in artificial intelligence like Deepmind, Swiftkey and Babylon.”

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The accord follows record levels of investments into the UK tech industry last year, and will plow sizeable new capitals from global corporations. They include Japanese venture capital firm Global Brain, which will open its first European headquarters in the UK with a $47.5 million investment in deep-tech startups; the University of Cambridge, which will purchase a $13.6 million supercomputer available to businesses; top-ranking Vancouver-based venture capital enterprise Chrysalix, which will establish a European headquarters in the UK with a $150 million investment in artificial intelligence and robotics; and the Alan Turing Institute and Rolls-Royce that will jointly run research projects on data science and artificial intelligence.

With a goal to attract the best and the brightest research talents from around the world, the deal offers money for the education of more than 8,000 computer science teachers and of over 1,000 artificial intelligence doctoral candidates by 2025.

The UK government has also pledged $28.5 million of funding to create Tech Nation, a nationwide organization to spur networking among entrepreneurs across the country. One of Tech Nation’s goals is to establish an internationally competitive program for scaling up mid-sized AI companies.

At the same time, the deal enforces high standards of business ethics through the Center for Data Ethics and Innovation that will be created. The $12.2 million institution will address challenges posed by adopting AI technologies and advise on measures for enabling and ensuring safe, ethical and innovative practices using data-driven technologies. It will also give guidance on consumer protection.

By Joel Lee (joel@heraldcorp.com)

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The Korea Herald by Herald Corporation