Riding high on the ever-growing wave of new tech, United Kingdom has announced that they would be investing $1.4 billion (£1 billion) as a joint investment in the artificial intelligence industry. According to media reports, the UK government said that this would give the country a competitive advantage in this thriving sector and prepare for a bounce-back after Brexit.
The investment will be in a multi-year form and over $400 million (£300 million) would come from UK-based companies alone. Several US-based companies such as Pfizer, McKinsey, IBM, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Microsoft, among others, would be a part of the UK’s AI deal.
Greg Clark, UK’s business and energy secretary said in a statement, “Artificial intelligence provides limitless opportunities to develop new, efficient and accessible products and services which transform the way we live and work… Today’s new deal with industry will ensure we have the right investment, infrastructure and highly-skilled workforce to establish the UK as a driving force in the development and commercial use of artificial intelligence technologies.”
This news is only the latest in a series of specific public-private investments announced by the UK. It is clearly a part of the country’s industrial strategy which aims to modernise Britain’s economy and address grave economical issues.
Only a few weeks ago, in a landmark deal, 25 European countries had signed a deal to form a ‘European approach’ to AI in order to compete with the American and Asian tech giants. Interestingly, the group has not promised a specific amount dedicated to new investments.
The UK government has plans to use this deal in a way that would generate over 232 billion pounds for the British economy by 2030.
With the US and Asian countries progressing in the new tech areas such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, machine learning, and internet of things, among others, the European politicians are trying to catch up. In fact, the EU countries who have signed the pact are also nudging their public and private sectors towards AI progress by earmarking public funds and nudging companies to invest in technologies like robotics and medical applications that process huge amounts of data.