More than 50 leading businesses and organisations have contributed to the development of a £1bn deal to put the nation at the forefront of the artificial intelligence industry.
The deal between the UK Government and industry, announced by Business Secretary Greg Clark and Digital Secretary Matt Hancock, includes more than £300 million of new funding for AI research to make the UK a global leader.
Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said: “Wales is already embracing the opportunities provided by artificial intelligence to revolutionise many different areas of work, including the medical and semiconductor sectors.
“Today’s deal will mean even closer cooperation between UK Government and industry in Wales, creating jobs in new fields and building a stronger, more resilient economy.”
Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: “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.
“As with all innovation, there is also the potential for misuse which puts the whole sector under scrutiny and undermines public confidence.
“That is why we are establishing a new world-leading body, to ensure the ethical use of data in AI applications for the benefit of all.”
The deal will help establish the UK as a research hotspot, with measures to ensure the innovators and tech entrepreneurs of tomorrow are based in the UK, with investment in the high-level post-graduate skills needed to capitalise on technology’s huge potential.
It includes money for training for 8,000 specialist computer science teachers, 1,000 government-funded AI PhDs by 2025 and a commitment to develop a prestigious global Turing Fellowship programme to attract and retain the best research talent in AI to the UK.
This will make sure every secondary school has a fully qualified computer science GCSE teacher to give the next generation the skills they need to develop and capitalise on future technology.
The AI sector deal will not only support new adopters of AI, it will help Wales’ trailblazing companies who are already embracing this tech and using it to create clusters of expertise, high-skill jobs and investing in developing this technology.
Companies and bodies in Wales actively embracing AI in what they do include:
IQE, a specialist in semiconductors, is investing £38m alongside Cardiff University to develop a new state-of-the-art facility that will manufacture components used in AI applications.
MedaPhor, based at Cardiff University, develops advanced hi-fidelity ultrasound simulators, artificial intelligence image analysis software and augmented reality needle guidance systems for medical practitioners.
Amplyfi is an artificial intelligence start-up that wants to transform the business intelligence industry. Its DataVoyant software platform harvests and reads data that is both publicly available online and from the deep web — the parts of the internet that are not indexed by standard search engines. The technology enables clients to spot potential disruptions to their businesses, whether a war, a market shift, or a new technology.
Artimus in Cardiff provides artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions using expertise from a broad range of disciplines including engineering.
Nicholas Sleep, chief technology officer of Medaphor Group in Cardiff said: “We’re trying to translate technology for the benefit of doctors.
“We use artificial intelligence to make ultrasound scanning easier for clinicians; making machines smarter to speed up scanning, and to aid clinicians in their decision making.
“The Government is absolutely right to be prioritising this technology, and putting Britain at the forefront of applying this technology in the medical sector, where it will make a big difference in improving safety and reducing the cost of healthcare.”
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