Impression of Artificial Intelligence

Government funding to accelerate the next generation of safe AI

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology has announced that the government is investing significant funding into the development of an expert taskforce to guide its AI ambitions.

The taskforce will be modelled on the success of the Covid-19 Vaccines Taskforce and will help to ensure that the development of artificial intelligence happens safely and reliably, across the economy. This will be done with the ambition of making sure that the UK is competitive across the globe when it comes to the ground-breaking technology.

Foundation models will be the focus of the taskforce. This is a category of artificial intelligence that is based on large volumes of data such as text, images, video or audio and allows the AI to gain wide capabilities across a number of tasks. Examples of foundation models are the widely popular ChatGPT and Google Bard. Examples of areas that can benefit from the potential of this kind of technology include healthcare, where it can be used to accelerate diagnoses, drug discovery, development, and education, where it can transform a teacher’s day-to-day responsibility to free up their time further for teaching.

With the Prime Minister committed to growing the UK economy, the ability of AI to contribute billions of pounds to the UK GDP makes the work of the taskforce essential. With broad adoption across systems around the country, AI has the ability to not only contribute to the economy, but also help with the delivery of better outcomes for people all over the UK. Research suggests that AI could be responsible for the tripling of national productivity rates.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

“Harnessing the potential of AI provides enormous opportunities to grow our economy, create better-paid jobs, and build a better future through advances in healthcare and security.

“By investing in emerging technologies through our new expert taskforce, we can continue to lead the way in developing safe and trustworthy AI as part of shaping a more innovative UK economy.”

The taskforce will report directly to both the Prime Minister and the Technology Secretary, and will be led by a expert Chair. With that role being announced later in the summer, Chair of the Advanced Research and Innovation Agency Matt Clifford, will be advising the Prime and Technology Secretary on the development of the taskforce, while the appointment is ongoing.

Michelle Donelan, Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary, said:

“Developed responsibly, cutting-edge AI can have a transformative impact in nearly every industry. It can revolutionise the way we develop new medical treatments, tackle climate change and improve our public services, all while growing and future-proofing our economy.

“We need to act now to seize the opportunities AI can offer us in the future. We’re backing our expert taskforce with the funding to make our ambitions for an AI-enabled country a reality and keep the UK at the front of the pack in this emerging technology.

“To ensure such leadership, the greatest capability we can develop is in the safety and reliability of such systems. This will ensure that the public and business have trust they need to confidently adopt this technology and fully realise its benefits. That is exactly what this taskforce will prioritise.”

Considering the reliance that foundation models have on significant computing power, the government is also investing around £900 million for a new ‘exascale’ supercomputer and dedicated AI Research Resource. This will give the UK the necessary processing power to support coming AI innovation. A further part of the taskforce’s responsibilities will be to ensure that this significant funding is used strategically, with priorities being placed on strengthening the UK’s foundation model capabilities.

Public Sector Executive, Feb/March, Cover

PSE Feb/March, 23

Greater choice, greater results

Our February/March 2023 edition of PSE brings you expert comment and analysis on a range of key public sector topics, from EV infrastructure to Digital transformation and reducing carbon emissions. Learn how the UK Government is investing in highway and freight innovation or read Cllr Matthew Hicks discuss the first step towards an exciting future for Suffolk, alongside so much more…


View all videos
#PSE365: Public Sector Decarbonisation

Be A Part Of It!

PSE365: Public Sector Decarbonisation Virtual Event | 21 Mar 2023

PSE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of public sector services. 

Over 365 days you’ll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

Industry Survey

What are the biggest issues facing the Public Sector?

 Public Sector Executive is undergoing some in-depth research around the issues the Public Sector is facing and the importance of deploying and using new technology within Public Sector organisations. 

We are asking for your help to better understand how public sector organisations are utilising technology to support their digital strategy and your opinion on what the biggest issues facing the public sector are.

This survey only takes a couple of minutes to complete and to thank you for your time and for filling out our survey, we'll enter you into a prize draw to win a £50 Amazon voucher.

In order to assist public sector organisations with improving their existing technology estate, we hope to leverage our findings to share best practises and innovations across the public sector.

More articles...

View all