Artificial Intelligence could add around £630bn to UK economy

The UK economy could benefit from an estimated £630bn provided the government supports efforts to develop and apply Artificial Intelligence in a range of applications including healthcare.

Artificial intelligence

These are the conclusions of a report published yesterday, October 15, 2017, which set out proposals for how government can work with industry to take a leading position in AI, a sector singled out for growth in January 2017’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper.

The independent review, ‘Growing the Artificial Intelligence Industry in the UK’, was announced as part of the Digital Strategy in March, 2017, and was led by Dame Wendy Hall, Professor of Computer Science at Southampton University, and Jérôme Pesenti, chief executive of BenevolentTech.

Pesenti said that the AI review focussed on recommendations that are practicable and deliverable.

“By following these recommendations, government, academia and industry can help strengthen the UK’s position in the global AI market,” he said. “Our proposals are deliberately specific and boil down to three fundamentals – enable better access to data, create a greater supply of AI skills and promote the uptake of AI.”

Sectors including automotive, health, and education are incorporating AI through the development of fully autonomous cars, the provision of personal health guides, and personalised education programmes for children.

The report makes 18 recommendations for how to make the UK the best place in the world for businesses developing AI to start, grow, and thrive including:

●      Skills: increasing the UK’s AI expertise through new initiatives including an industry-funded Masters programme, and conversion courses to bring a broader range of people into the field;
●      Increasing uptake: helping organisations and workers understand how AI can boost their productivity and make better products and services, including public services;
●      Data: ensuring that people and organisations can be confident that use of data for AI is safe, secure and fair by making more data available, including from publicly-funded research; and
●      Research: building on the UK’s strong record in cutting-edge AI research, including making the Alan Turing Institute a national institute for AI.

These recommendations will now be considered in discussions towards a potential Industrial Strategy sector deal between government and the AI industry.

Prof Dame Wendy Hall said: “AI has been around for a very long time as a concept and this latest surge of technological development is likely to see automation continue to escalate and accelerate in every walk of life.

“Now is the time for us all – scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs and the government – to come together and address the issues about how AI is going to impact society and seek ways to ensure that we’re able to deliver the great breakthroughs the technology has the potential to deliver.”