UK government launches AI talent scheme
Written by Peter Walker
Businesses including Ocado, Amazon, Rolls Royce and McKinsey are backing an industry and government collaboration to develop the next generation of artificial intelligence (AI) experts in the UK.
The plans are part of a package unveiled by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which also includes:
• Confirmation that Roger Taylor will chair the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation;
• The launch of a consultation on the centre’s remit and a search for the team to run it;
• New plans to develop a National Data Strategy to unlock the power of data in the UK;
• Measures to increase the UK’s leading role in the ethical use of data in the public sector;
• £350,000 to help Internet of Things innovators and the emerging technology sector.
This follows the government’s £1 billion AI sector deal, which brings together more than 50 businesses and organisations to work on promoting the sector.
Digital secretary Matt Hancock said: “With Roger Taylor at the helm of our new Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, plans to train the top-tier tech experts of tomorrow and a commitment to develop a new National Data Strategy, we will continue to be Europe’s digital dynamo and the place to start and grow a digital business.”
The government also confirmed a new Start-Up Visa for entrepreneurs to launch in Spring 2019. This will replace a visa route which was exclusively for graduates, opening it up to all business people.
In addition, two new tech hubs have been launched in Brazil and South Africa. UK companies will be paired with overseas innovation through the hubs, to develop skills, capability and business networks in these markets.
The AI backing follows research from the Mayor of London that the UK capital is the AI capital of Europe, with double the number of AI firms as closest rivals Paris and Berlin combined.