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DCMS and BEIS to create Office of AI

30/01/18

Departments search for deputy director to coordinate work and design Grand Challenge for artificial intelligence

Two central government departments are setting up a joint Office for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in an effort to make the most of the economic and service opportunities in the technology.

Three human figures with computer boards for bodiesThe Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DMCS) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have made the plan public through a job advertisement for a deputy director.

It follows an emphasis on the importance of AI in the independent review of the issue, published by the two departments last October.

The job advertisement, which quotes a salary of £65,000 to £80,000 on a two-year contract, says the role will bring together the leadership teams in the DCMS Tech Policy Directorate and the BEIS Business Growth Directorate.

It will involve setting up the team, designing the Government’s Grand Challenge to transform AI in the UK, and developing a detailed implementation plan for commitments within the Government’s Industrial Strategy. Other responsibilities will include leading delivery of the AI Sector Deal – taking in skills, governance and security – and promoting the adoption of AI in the public and private sectors.

The advertisement says the appointee will not have to be an expert in AI but will need experience in the technology sector.

DCMS has indicated that the new body will complement the work of the Alan Turing Institute in the field. The AI review recommended that the institute should become the national institute for AI and data science, and work with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Science and Technology Facilities Council, and Joint Information Systems Committee (Jisc) to coordinate demand and computing capacity for research into the technology.

This story was amended on 30 January on receipt of further information from DCMS.

Image by Many Wonderful Artists, public domain through flickr

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