Growing the artificial intelligence industry in the UK

Summary from an independent review, carried out by Professor Dame Wendy Hall and Jérôme Pesenti: “Increased use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) can bring major social and economic benefits to the UK. With AI, computers can analyse and learn from information at higher accuracy and speed than humans can. AI offers massive gains in efficiency and performance to most or all industry sectors, from drug discovery to logistics. AI is software that can be integrated into existing processes, improving them, scaling them, and reducing their costs, by making or suggesting more accurate decisions through better use of information.

It has been estimated that AI could add an additional USD $814 billion (£630bn) to the UK economy by 2035, increasing the annual growth rate of GVA from 2.5 to 3.9%.

Our vision is for the UK to become the best place in the world for businesses developing and deploying AI to start, grow and thrive, to realise all the benefits the technology offers….

Key factors have combined to increase the capability of AI in recent years, in particular:

  • New and larger volumes of data
  • Supply of experts with the specific high level skills
  • Availability of increasingly powerful computing capacity. The barriers to achieving performance have fallen significantly, and continue to fall.

To continue developing and applying AI, the UK will need to increase ease of access to data in a wider range of sectors. This Review recommends:

  • Development of data trusts, to improve trust and ease around sharing data
  • Making more research data machine readable
  • Supporting text and data mining as a standard and essential tool for research.

Skilled experts are needed to develop AI, and they are in short supply. To develop more AI, the UK will need a larger workforce with deep AI expertise, and more development of lower level skills to work with AI. …

Increasing uptake of AI means increasing demand as well as supply through a better understanding of what AI can do and where it could be applied. This review recommends:

  • An AI Council to promote growth and coordination in the sector
  • Guidance on how to explain decisions and processes enabled by AI
  • Support for export and inward investment
  • Guidance on successfully applying AI to drive improvements in industry
  • A programme to support public sector use of AI
  • Funded challenges around data held by public organisations.

Our work has indicated that action in these areas could deliver a step-change improvement in growth of UK AI. This report makes the 18 recommendations listed in full below, which describe how Government, industry and academia should work together to keep the UK among the world leaders in AI…(More)”