£50m investment to develop world-leading AI talent in the UK

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The Government has committed further investment to the UK’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) sector by announcing up to an additional £50m to attract and retain the world’s top talent.

The announcement within this week’s budget builds on the AI Sector Deal, worth up to almost £1bn, launched earlier this year. As part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy, the sector deal set out how the UK will be at the forefront of the AI and data revolution.

Working with the Alan Turing Institute, up to £50m will be invested in new Turing AI Fellowships to help bring the best global researchers in AI to the UK. The funding will allow the UK to attract, retain and develop world leading research talent.

DCMS Secretary of State Jeremy Wright said: “Through our modern Industrial Strategy we’re joining with industry to invest close to £1 billion in AI, to position the UK as one of the best places in the world to develop and use this exciting new technology. This investment will help us to recruit and retain the best talent in AI and ensure that we are we are leading the way on research and development in the sector.”

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “The huge potential of artificial intelligence to transform our economy and our lives for the better, from revolutionising cancer treatment to combating financial fraud, is at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy.

“This investment is the next step in our commitment to make Britain the world’s most innovative economy, with highly-skilled jobs in every part of the UK.”

Adrian Smith, Director of The Alan Turing Institute commented: “In order to realise the significant opportunities for innovation and growth offered by the data and artificial intelligence revolution, it is essential that we nurture and grow the very best academic talent and expertise. We are delighted to be working with the Government Office for AI to deliver the Turing AI Fellowships, bringing the best global researchers to collaborate with us in the UK and driving forward impact in these technologies for the benefit of science, society and the economy.

“AI technologies offer the potential to drive productivity up by up to 25% by 2035. The UK is already home to some of the biggest names in the business such as DeepMind and is well placed to seize the opportunities that AI brings.”

Andrew Lawson, Executive Vice President and General Manager, UK at Salesforce

“Today tech literacy and skills are critical in making sure our workforce is as productive as possible and ready for jobs in the digital economy of the future.

“This investment from the UK government is the latest indication of its commitment to digital skills and the tech sector and highlights its understanding of the opportunities innovative technologies can bring to modern businesses, with those who implement Artificial Intelligence (AI) benefiting from superior more productivity.

“This stems from the ability of AI and machine Learning to automate mundane, repetitive aspects of jobs and quick data analysis, freeing up the time teams need for more complex and creative tasks.

“One key to taking full advantage of these technologies lies in building digital skills across the workforce. Businesses, education institutions and government alike have a collective responsibility to support the lifelong learning of these skills which are becoming fundamental for the modern workplace.

“At Salesforce, we’re playing our part and are focused on supporting new models of education – from our own online learning platform, Trailhead, to supporting programmes like School 21’s Innovative Leadership programme that trains the UK’s educators to teach young people the skills they need to succeed and thrive in the 21st century and beyond.”

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