£1 billion deal to enhance AI industry

Over 50 leading businesses and organisations have contributed towards a deal between government and industry for an Artificial Intelligence Sector Deal, worth nearly £1 billion.

Announced by Business Secretary Greg Clark and Digital Secretary Matt Hancock, the deal includes nearly £300 million of new private sector investment and more than £300 million of newly allocated government funding for artificial intelligence (AI) research to make the UK a global leader in this technology.

The agreement aims to establish the UK as a research hotspot and, therefore, includes money for training for 8,000 specialist computer science teachers, 1,000 government-funded AI PhDs by 2025 and a commitment to develop a prestigious global Turing Fellowship programme to attract and retain the best research talent in AI to the UK.

Furthermore, the government will provide £21 million of funding to create Tech Nation, a new UK-wide organisation working across the country to create a high-growth tech network for ambitious entrepreneurs.

The Artificial intelligence Sector Deal also includes new investments. For example, it has been announced that Japanese venture capital firm Global Brain will open its first European HQ in the UK and invest £35 million in UK deep-tech start-ups, while he University of Cambridge is opening a new £10 million AI supercomputer and making its infrastructure available to businesses.

Hancock said: “The UK must be at the forefront of emerging technologies, pushing boundaries and harnessing innovation to change people’s lives for the better. Artificial Intelligence is at the centre of our plans to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business. We have a great track record and are home to some of the world’s biggest names in AI like Deepmind, Swiftkey and Babylon, but there is so much more we can do. By boosting AI skills and data driven technologies we will make sure that we continue to build a Britain that is shaping the future.”

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