Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere from mobile phone apps to self-driving cars and, when combined with robotics, forms a vital part of our future. AI now even forms a major part of UK Government planning.
Recently in the House of Commons, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport was asked what steps the government is taking to ensure that the UK remains a world leader in the field of artificial intelligence.
The Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, Margot James, replied:
“The UK is a world leader in AI. Our AI and data grand challenge, as part of the industrial strategy, is a major collaboration, with up to £950 million of industry and government funding driving measures for innovation, and attracting and retaining global talent to maintain our position as a global leader in AI.”
To assure listeners that work was being done to develop AI across not just government, but the whole public sector, James continued:
“We have established an Office for Artificial Intelligence across the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Its job is to encourage strong dialogue between Departments and the wider public sector, including academia. For example, The Alan Turing Institute’s specialist public sector AI unit is involved in this process.”
The UK is not alone in noticing the importance of AI.
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, said that it will need to invest £17.5 billion in AI research by 2020.
China is ploughing billions into its own AI industry and wants it to be worth £123 billion by 2030, whilst Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that whichever nation leads the technology “will become the ruler of the world.”