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DCMS announces AI Sector Deal



New document highlights £1 billion funding to promote development of artificial intelligence in the UK

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced a £1 billion deal with more than 50 leading technology companies to boost the growth of the artificial intelligence (AI) sector.

In a round of flag waving for the industry it has published the Artificial Intelligence Sector Deal, which reiterates several previously announced measures and involves more than £300 million of newly allocated public funding for research in the field, along with a plan for 1,000 AI PhDs by 2025.

The funding comprises £603 million in new contributions from government, industry and academia, along with £342 million from existing budgets.

The deal includes a restatement of the steps by which the Government will support the development of AI, including the creation of the GovTech Catalyst and a Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation. It will also aim at strengthening the UK’s data infrastructure and working with schools, universities and industry to develop a skilled workforce.

Industry action includes working towards interoperable and, where possible, open data standards; partnering in data sharing frameworks; improving the environment for start-ups; and taking action to expand AI clusters across the UK.

The deal also includes a blueprint for the AI Grand Challenge, which is aimed at making the UK a world leader in the field.

UK track record

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Matt Hancock said: “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.”

Image by GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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