UK gets £17.3m funds for artificial intelligence and robotics research


UK gets £17.3m ($22m) funds for artificial intelligence and robotics research, which will be carried out by British Universities.

It is part of the Government’s digital strategy, to be published by Culture Secretary Karen Bradley on Wednesday.

A report by Accenture revealed last year claimed that AI could boost up UK economy by contributing £654bn by 2035. But the government was criticised last year for its influence in the UK tech scene.

With this new digital strategy, computer scientist Prof Dame Wendy Hall and tech CEO Jerome Pesenti, the former chief data scientist at IBM, have been advised to review the UK’s artificial intelligence sector.

Dame Wendy said: “Our scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs are pioneers in the field of artificial intelligence and I’m waiting eagerly to explore how industry and government can work together to provide support to technology in the UK,”

“Using our best digital economy to explore and grow along with the help from the best foundations in place, it will surely develop new technology as the government is planning to construct a modern, dynamic and global nation.”

In January this year, the organiser of the CES tech fair told BBC that it was “main cause of embarrassment” because there was the presence of British during the event as compared with other nations. Around 177,000 people accompanied the 2017’s  gathering held in Las Vegas, in which robotics was the theme.

The event captured thousands of exhibitors across the globe looking for investment, distribution deals and publicity, but France was reported to send almost five times more tech firms than Britain.

“Britain is lagging behind in this game. Britain’s minister was also present at the event held in CES, but not much activity was reported,” said Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association, which organises the event.

A spokeswoman for the UK’s Department for International Trade said that she was very keen to support robotic companies.

“We want to support UK businesses so that they can make the most of the trade and investment opportunities even in the US,” she said further.