UK targets new funding to support the development of ‘responsible AI’

The UK government has announced $68 million (£54 million) in new investments for the development of AI technology, including $39 million for the creation of a research and innovation ecosystem for responsible and trustworthy AI.

The funding was announced by technology secretary Chole Smith during her speech at London Tech Week on Wednesday, and follows previous commitments to the AI sector made by the government.

These include $126 million in funding for a Foundation Model Taskforce, which aims to support the development of secure and reliable AI models that can be used in industries such as healthcare and education, and a new AI research award which will offer $1.2million per year to the company that has achieved the “most groundbreaking British AI research.”

The money for the projects will be delivered through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

The $39 million project, dubbed Responsible AI UK, is a large consortium that will be led by Professor of Artificial Intelligence Gopal Ramchurn from the University of Southampton. It has been established to fund “multidisciplinary research” into understanding what responsible and trustworthy AI is, how to develop it and build it into existing systems, and the impacts it will have on society.

In addition to the funding for Responsible AI UK, $16.4 million has been awarded to 13 AI projects geared to help the UK meet its net-zero carbon emissions targets, and $10 million for two new Alan Turing AI research fellowships.

Two and a half million dollars has also been allocated for 42 projects that will help facilitate the principles of safety, security and robustness; transparency and explainability; fairness; accountability and governance; and contestability, as outlined in the UK government’s AI white paper.

“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,” Smith said, in comments posted alongside the announcement.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.


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