UK government reveals major new AI plans

The government has revealed ambitious plans for boosting the UK's artificial intelligence (AI) technology industry.

A new independent review, published on behalf of the AI sector, has claimed that AI could provide up to £630 billion for the UK economy over the next few years.

The ‘Growing the Artificial Intelligence Industry in the UK’ report, published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, alongside the Department for Business, says that AI can provide a "unique opportunity" to help many areas of society.

It names improved productivity, advances in health care, and better customer service as other benefits that AI can provide. Industries including health, banking, education and driverless cars were also highlighted as areas that are already effectively utilising AI, but still have room for more.

"I want the UK to lead the way in Artificial Intelligence. It has the potential to improve our everyday lives - from healthcare to robots that perform dangerous tasks," said Culture Secretary Karen Bradley.

"We already have some of the best minds in the world working on Artificial Intelligence, and the challenge now is to build a strong partnership with industry and academia to cement our position as the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business."

The report includes 18 recommendations aimed at making the UK the world's top AI nation, including an industry-funded Masters qualification program to teach and educated workers with the best AI skills, and making the Alan Turing Institute a national research centre for AI technology.

Businesses will also be better encouraged to understand how AI can benefit them, with workers seeing greater productivity, and companies creating and releasing better products. 

The plans will now be considered by the Government, which earlier this year announced that £1 billion of investment will be made available in six key areas of research and development.