The UK government has announced a £118 million ($143 million) skills package to ensure the country has “world-leading expertise” for future AI research and development.
This will fund 12 AI PhD training centers – supported by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a government agency – to train a new generation of researchers New AI, with a course designed to ensure that each student is trained in responsible, trustworthy and safe AI while specializing in the UK’s priority areas, such as care health care.
The Government will also launch a new visa scheme which it says will make it easier for the “most innovative companies” to bring AI researchers at the early stages of their careers to the UK, alongside the creation of a ‘£1 scholarship.
The AI Future Grants Program is worth €1 million to help AI employees cover the costs of moving to the UK. The government says this will help emerging AI researchers and engineers from around the world work at UK universities, businesses and research institutes.
Finally, the British Council and UK universities will fund 15 amazing scholarships for international students from 14 countries, enabling them to study science and technology courses in the UK, including subjects related to AI or life sciences.
The government will also support the Backing Invisible Geniuses (BIG) scholarship pilot project, hosted by Global Talent Lab, to support high school students who excel in the International Science Olympiad competitions, helping them step into the future on the path of deeper research in mathematics, science and AI.
“The UK is at the very forefront of the global race to turn AI’s enormous potential into a giant leap forward for people’s quality of life and productivity at work, all while ensuring this technology works safely, ethically and responsibly,” said Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, in comments published alongside the announcement.
“The plans we are announcing today will future-proof our nation’s skills base, meaning British people can reap the benefits of AI as it continues to develop. At the same time, we are moving further and faster to put the power of this technology to work for good across government and society,” she said.
UK announces host of AI support ahead of Safety Summit
Ahead of this week’s Global AI Security Summit at Bletchley Park, the UK government has announced a series of projects and funding initiatives aimed at boosting the country’s AI industry.
Earlier this week, the Government announced it would spend around £100m over the coming years to help develop AI technology for the health and life sciences sector, as part of an official mission to accelerate scientific research.
The program will seek to address specific health issues that represent areas of particular interest to the UK Government, such as the accurate diagnosis and treatment of dementia. The UK will also establish the world’s first AI Safety Institute to examine, evaluate and test new types of AI.
“The British people should have peace of mind that we’re developing the most advanced protections for AI of any country in the world,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a speech last week. “I will always be honest with you about the risks, and you can trust me to make the right long-term decisions.”
Sunak added that the AI Safety Institute will assess and research these risks, from social harms such as bias and misinformation, to the most serious risks, so that the UK understands the capabilities of each new AI model.