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Artificial intelligence talent to be trained at UK universities

14:17 21 February in News

As part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy, Business Secretary Greg Clark and Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright have announced a nationwide government-industry package to support skills in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) sector.

A total of 200 new AI Masters places, accompanied by work-based placements, will become available at UK universities. 11 companies have already committed to collectively fund an aggregate of 50 of these places and placements, including Cisco and Nvidia, who have operations in the Thames Valley. Other companies and universities are currently participating in ongoing discussions.

In addition to the industry-funded Masters scheme, 1,000 students will have the opportunity to strengthen their skills with new PhDs at 16 dedicated UK Research and Innovation AI Centres for Doctoral Training. With the aim of attracting and retaining the greatest global talent, 5 AI research Fellowships, established in partnership with the prestigious Alan Turing Institute, are now open.

Striving to address the skills gap in the sector, boost productivity and create high-skilled jobs, the announcement is a major milestone in the modern Industrial Strategy’s AI Sector Deal.

The Industrial Strategy outlines Grand Challenges to put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future, certifying that the country takes advantage of major global changes, improving productivity and people’s lives. One of the four Grand Challenges is Artificial Intelligence and Data, which will see AI used across a variety of industries, giving the UK a leading edge in the AI and data revolution.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

“The UK has long been a nation of innovators. This AI skills and talent investment will help nurture leading UK and international talent to ensure we retain our world-beating reputation in research and development.

Artificial intelligence has great potential to drive up productivity and enhance every industry throughout our economy, from more effective disease diagnosis to building smart homes. Today’s announcement is our modern Industrial Strategy in action, investing in skills and talent to drive high skilled jobs, growth and productivity across the UK.”

Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright said:

“The UK is not only the birthplace to the father of artificial intelligence, Alan Turing, but we are leading the way on work to ensure AI innovation has ethics at its core.

We want to keep up this momentum and cement our reputation as pioneers in AI. Working with world class academic institutions and industry we will be able to train the next generation of top-tier AI talent and maintain the UK’s reputation as a trailblazer in emerging technologies.

As companies throughout the UK increasingly use AI in processes from manufacturing to fashion and construction to medical imaging, upskilling people to develop and maintain the new technology is crucial to its success in boosting productivity. This is part of the government’s continued drive to be a world-leader in harnessing the economic benefits of AI and the data-driven revolution, as part of the modern Industrial Strategy.

The schemes, aimed at people of different stages in higher education and available to researchers at a variety of levels, helps to build advanced AI skills at all levels, a key commitment contained within the AI Sector Deal.”

Read more here.