UKRI announces investment in AI research

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has announced £50 million in funding to to accelerate new research in Artificial intelligence (AI) that will bring academic and industry partners together.

The bulk of the funding - £31 million - will be used to create a research consortium called Responsible AI UK that will bring academic and industry partners together. The consortium, led by the University of Southampton, will be responsible for exploring and promoting ethical and trustworthy AI. 

A further £13 million will be used to fund 13 projects to help the UK meet its net zero targets. Each of the projects will look at developing AI technologies to have more sustainable land management, accelerate energy efficient CO2 capture, and improve resilience for natural hazards and extreme events.

Additionally, £8 million has been earmarked for two AI researcher fellowships at the Alan Turing Institute, and a further £2 million for feasibility studies on 42 projects under the BridgeAI programme for developing AI solutions.

UKRI said the investments, made through its Technology Missions Fund, will explore the impact of AI on wider society and how it can be used to solve world challenges. 

A technology 'powerhouse'  

The Technology Secretary Chloe Smith, unveiled the package in a keynote speech at London Tech Week, alongside the launch of the UK Geospatial Strategy 2030 - which will unlock billions of pounds in economic benefits through harnessing technologies including AI, satellite imaging and real-time data.

She said: “Despite our size as a small island nation, the UK is a technology powerhouse. Last year, the UK became just the third country in the world to have a tech sector valued at $1 trillion. It is the biggest in Europe by some distance and behind only the US and China globally.

“The technology landscape, though, is constantly evolving, and we need a tech ecosystem which can respond to those shifting sands, harness its opportunities, and address emerging challenges. The measures unveiled today will do exactly that.

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