UK Pledges £100m For AI Technology Research

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) in the UK has unveiled a set of policies in response to the AI white paper consultation. Over £100 million will be allocated to establish responsible artificial intelligence research hubs and prepare regulators for AI challenges. The breakdown of the funding includes nearly £90 million for nine research hubs focusing on AI technology in healthcare, chemistry, and mathematics. Another £10 million will be dedicated to upskilling regulators to enhance their understanding of AI risks.

Concerns have been raised about the capacity of existing regulators to handle the challenges brought on by AI, and this funding aims to address those issues. Regulators such as Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have been instructed to publish their approaches to managing AI by April 30 2024.

The funding has received positive feedback from policy experts who have long advocated for additional resources for regulators. However, some believe that while £10 million is a good start, more investment will be needed to truly address the challenges and unlock progress in AI markets.

UK Research and Innovation will contribute £19 million to 21 projects aimed at developing innovative, trusted, and responsible AI and machine learning solutions. An additional £2 million will be allocated to the Arts and Humanities Research Council for projects focusing on responsible AI in education, policing, and the creative industries.

The government plans to launch a steering committee in spring to guide regulators’ activities. Despite the substantial funding for research and upskilling, the government has reiterated its commitment to not legislate for AI safety in the short term.

Lila Ibrahim, COO of Google DeepMind, commended the government’s response, noting that it strikes a balance between supporting innovation and ensuring responsible AI use. She particularly praised the commitment to supporting regulators with additional resources and expressed optimism about the UK continuing to be a global leader in AI research and regulation.

(Source: UKTN / DSIT)

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