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UK Government announces a review to spur growth in artificial intelligence

This week the UK government announced its plans for a digital strategy to accelerate the growth of high-tech industry – including a review to define conditions for the ‘artificial intelligence industry to thrive and grow in the UK.'

The report outlines seven areas that will be the focus for this strategy, which includes ‘building world-class digital infrastructure for the UK’ through education and access to technology but also ‘innovation-friendly regulation’ that will encourage more high tech business in the UK.

The executive summary refers to the Autumn Statement 2016, where the government announced that it would invest an additional £4.7 billion by 2020-21 in R&D funding. This funding is intended to ensure British businesses remain at the cutting edge of scientific and technological discovery as Britain leaves the European Union.

The idea behind this new digital strategy is to help drive growth in UK business, particularly for areas of high-tech business such as games development and artificial intelligence. The government hopes that this announcement will help combat the uncertainty that many businesses over the decision for Britain to leave the European Union.

The report states: ‘The UK has a proud history of digital innovation: from the earliest days of computing to the development of the World Wide Web, the UK has been a cradle for inventions that have changed the world. And from Ada Lovelace - widely recognised as the first computer programmer - to the pioneers of today’s revolution in artificial intelligence, the UK has always been at the forefront of invention.’

By creating conditions for the high tech industry to thrive, the UK could help to establish its economy – post brexit- as a country that is a hub for high-tech industry. The report goes on to state that this will include a full review of the UK’s artificial intelligence capabilities so that investment can be effectively targetted to bolster the development of AI business in the UK.

The executive summary states that as part of this digital strategy the UK will welcome ‘Professor Dame Wendy Hall, Regius Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, and Jerome Pesenti, Chief Executive of BenevolentTech, who will undertake a review of how the UK can create the conditions for the artificial intelligence industry to thrive'.


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