UK and France team up for major AI partnership

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Britain and France have announced a significant cross-channel agreement looking to encourage technology development.

The two countries will host a new digital conference aimed at promoting co-operation on developing new technology, with artificial intelligence a major focus alongside areas including cybersecurity and digital government.

The news was announced after a meeting between new Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Matt Hancock and his French counterpart, Françoise Nyssen, at the UK France Summit hosted by the Prime Minister and the French President, Emmanuel Macron in Sandhurst. 

The partnership will initially take the form of a new digital conference that will take place later this year aimed at fostering cross-Channel collaboration between academics, industry and government.

The event will bring together experts from both countries, and look to, "seize the economic and social benefits of fast-developing tech such as AI", the government said.

AI will be one of the major focuses of the new partnership, following the government's recent £75m investment into the technology, with recent figures estimating that the sector could add £630 billion to the UK economy by 2035. 

“The UK and France are strengthening ties in technology and innovation. I'm looking forward to leading a cutting-edge digital conference this year which will see our world-leading experts in cyber security, digital skills, artificial intelligence, data and digital government share their talent and knowledge," said Hancock.

“Both countries benefit when our digital economies are strong and the event will deepen our bonds and foster cross-Channel collaboration between those at the forefront of modern technology.”