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Tech sector backs British AI industry with multimillion pound investment

15:40 01 May in News

More than 50 leading technology companies and organisations have contributed to the development of an Artificial Intelligence Sector Deal (AI) which has just been announced by the UK Government. The deal, worth almost £1 billion, includes almost £300 million of private sector investment into the UK sector that will be matched by government funding for AI research. This will make the UK a global leader in AI technology.

Building on the commitment made in the government’s modern Industrial Strategy and its AI Grand Challenge, the deal marks the first phase of a major innovation-focused investment drive, which aims to help the UK seize the £232 billion opportunity AI offers the UK economy by 2030 (10% of GDP).

With a key ambition of the UK’s industrial strategy to become the world’s most innovative economy – this Sector Deal aims to attract and retain both domestic and global AI talent. In addition to delivering major upgrades to the digital and data infrastructure, it will ensure that the UK is the best place to start and grow an AI business and contribute to communities’ prosperity by spreading the benefits across the country.

Paul Britton, Chief Executive of the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the AI Sector Deal and commented:

“It is very encouraging to see the focus on investment in innovation and drive for future growth and prosperity in this Sector Deal. The Thames Valley has long been a technology hub and a proven location for both established global brands and innovative start-ups to grow. One of its recent success stories, Deepmind, was acquired by Google for a reported £400m in 2014 and now leads the world in AI research.”

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Matt 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.”

Find out more about the Government’s Industrial Strategy sector deals here.