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Pushing the boundaries of Artificial Intelligence
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THE UK could become a world leader in artificial intelligence.

A government White Paper released in October 2017 highlights the best way to grow the UK’s AI industries by putting data at the heart of growth. The report by Professor Dame Wendy Hall and Jérôme Pesenti sets out a series of recommendations covering data, skills, research and uptake of AI.

Artificial Intelligence is seen as one of the most important drivers of social and economic improvement by the government. The report looks at what should be done to foster the right environment for innovation and development in the field.

It points out that access to data is crucial, calling for improved sharing alongside a commitment to support text and data mining as standard.

The report authors say: “The impacts [of AI] on society and the economy will be profound, although the exact nature of those impacts is uncertain. We are convinced that because of the UK’s current and historical strengths in this area we are in a strong position to lead rather than follow in both the development of the technology and its deployment in all sectors of industry, education and government.”

They warn that while the UK is currently at the forefront of research and development, it risks losing its place if action is not taken now to help the industry. They say: "We start from a good position in many respects but other leading countries are devoting significant resources to growing and deploying AI. The UK will need to act in key areas and to sustain action over a long period and across industry sectors, to retain its world leading status, and to grow our AI capability as well as deploying it much more widely.”

As well as improving access to and the quality of data, the recommendations include developing a diverse workforce and new skills. The Alan Turing Institute, based at the British Library, should become the national institute for artificial intelligence and data science. Once established as the centre for AI it should work with partner organisations and universities.

Trust in AI and the way it uses data should be improved through a framework developed by the information commissioner and the Alan Turing Institute, to help build public acceptance. In total 18 recommendations have been made – read the full report here.

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