Britain to be made AI match-fit with £118 million skills package – GOV.UK

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The UK’s AI skills base will be future-proofed with a £118 million boost to skills funding, including postgraduate research centres and scholarships.
The UK’s AI skills base will be future-proofed with a £118 million boost to skills funding, the government announced today (Tuesday 31 October).
This will ensure the country has the top global expertise and fosters the next generation of researchers needed to seize the transformational benefits of this technology.
This includes naming, for the first time, the further 12 Centres for Doctoral Training in AI that will benefit from £117 million in previously-announced government backing through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), while a new visa scheme will make it easier for the most innovative businesses to bring talented AI researchers in their early careers, to the UK.
This is on top of funding for 15 science and technology scholarships at some of the UK’s world-leading universities, a £1 million grants scheme to help top AI talent relocate to the UK, and the pilot of a new STEM Olympiad scholarship scheme ‘Backing Invisible Geniuses’. It builds on a further £8.1 million recently announced, for postgraduate course scholarships in AI and data science. Because of the pace of change in AI development, it is critical that the UK cultivates the top AI research talent to drive progress in crucial areas like AI safety, and to ensure the whole country can feel the gains that AI will unlock.
Secretary of State Michelle Donelan said:
The UK is at the very forefront of the global race to turn AI’s enormous potential into a giant leap forward for people’s quality of life and productivity at work, all while ensuring this technology works safely, ethically and responsibly.
The plans we are announcing today will future-proof our nation’s skills base, meaning British people can reap the benefits of AI as it continues to develop. At the same time, we are moving further and faster to put the power of this technology to work for good across government and society.
UKRI Chief Executive, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, said:
The UK is in a strong position to harness the power of AI to transform many aspects of our lives for the better. Crucial to this endeavour is nurturing the talented people and teams we need to apply AI to a broad spectrum of challenges, from healthy aging to sustainable agriculture, ensuring its responsible and trustworthy adoption. UKRI is investing £117 million in Centres for Doctoral Training to develop the talented researchers and innovators we need for success.
Alongside the support for skills, a raft of measures are being unveiled today across government to unleash AI’s potential to improve how we work and boost our quality of life. This includes the naming of 64 NHS trusts across the country that will benefit from the £21 million rollout of AI tech to improve how chest X-ray and CT scans are used to diagnose serious conditions like lung cancer. As well as plans to use AI to boost the productivity of teachers and JobCentre work coaches, helping boost educational attainment and support more people into finding work.
All of this comes on the eve of the AI Safety Summit, being hosted at Bletchley Park from Wednesday 1 – Thursday 2 November. The Summit is another signal of the UK’s determination to lead the way globally on managing the risks around AI, together with partners from around the world, so that we can reap the enormous benefits this transformative technology has to offer.
The AI skills package announced today includes:
Wider AI initiatives being announced this week include:
The 12 AI Centres for Doctoral Training, their research area, are as follows:
The AI Centres for Doctoral Training are being funded through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
The Department for Business and Trade will work closely with top AI universities, businesses, and professionals to design the new AI Futures Grants scheme, to be launched in 2024.
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