DCMS announces new measures to boost growth of AI

The Department for Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) has announced new measures to support Britain’s world-leading AI sector as part of a Digital Strategy, due to published on 1 March, to boost growth and deliver a ‘thriving, outward-looking digital economy that works for everyone’.

The Digital Strategy’s proposal includes a major AI review led by Wendy Hall and Jérôme Pesenti to identify the critical elements for the technology to thrive and grow in the UK. It will consider how government and industry could work together to back this technology, which could inform a sector deal. The UK is already a world-leader in the science underpinning this technology and the sector has the potential to grow further, from early research to commercialisation.

The news comes as Accenture has estimated AI could add around £654 billion to the UK economy by 2035.

The government is also expected to confirm a funding boost of £17.3 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to support the development of new Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (RAI) technologies in universities across the UK.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said: “Britain has a proud history of digital innovation - from the earliest days of computing to Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s development of the World Wide Web.

“We are already pioneers in today’s artificial intelligence revolution and the Digital Strategy will build on our strengths to make sure UK-based scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs continue to be at the forefront.

“Technologies like AI have the potential to transform how we live, work, travel and learn, and I am pleased that Professor Dame Wendy Hall and Jérôme Pesenti will be leading this review. It’s great that government and industry will be working together to drive growth in the sector, to realise all the economic and social benefits for the UK.

“Backing our thriving digital economy to expand and grow by putting the best foundations in place to develop new technology is a vital part of this government’s plan to build a modern, dynamic and global trading nation.”

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “Investment in robotics and artificial intelligence will help make our economy more competitive, build on our world-leading reputation in these cutting-edge sectors and help us create new products, develop more innovative services and establish better ways of doing business.

“Innovation is at the heart of our Industrial Strategy and the launch of the Government’s Digital Strategy underlines our commitment to this vital sector. By supporting British businesses and investing in dynamic fields such as robotics and AI, we will help put the UK at the forefront of global innovation.

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