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UK government to announce £17.3m boost for artificial intelligence and robotics

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The UK government is set to announce new measures to support the country’s artificial intelligence sector as part of a ‘bold’ Digital Strategy.

With the measures, the government will seek to spur growth and deliver a “thriving, outward-looking digital economy that works for everyone”.

Due to be published on 1st March by culture secretary Karen Bradley MP, the new proposals will build on plans set out in the government’s Industrial Strategy.

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They are expected to include:

  • A major review into AI led by Wendy Hall and Jérôme Pesenti in an attempt to identify critical elements that would help the technology flourish in the UK. The review will consider how to foster greater collaboration between the government and industry.
  • As part of the new proposals, the government is expected to confirm a funding boost of £17.3m 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 country.

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.

Bradley continued: “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. 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.”

The move comes after Accenture estimated AI could contribute in the region of £654bn to the UK economy by 2035.

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