UK Digital Secretary Matt Hancock is visiting France today where he’s set to announce measures for strengthening AI cooperation between the nations.
Speaking to industry leaders around the world, many recognise the UK as a leader in AI research and talent from its class-leading universities. Since 2014, an AI startup has launched every five days on average in the UK.
This strength has resulted in significant interest from global technology giants – including Google’s £400 million acquisition of DeepMind, and Facebook’s acquisition of Bloomsbury AI just earlier this week.
Digital Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“The UK is a digital dynamo, increasingly recognised across the world as a place where ingenuity and innovation can flourish. We are home to four in ten of Europe’s tech businesses worth more than $1 billion and London is the AI capital of Europe.
France is also doing great work in this area, and these new partnerships show the strength and depth of our respective tech industries and are the first stage in us developing a closer working relationship. This will help us better serve our citizens and provide a boost for our digital economies.”
France and the UK are looking to forge closer links between leading AI companies in each of the nations.
Speaking alongside his French counterpart, Mounir Mahjoubi, Mr Hancock will confirm the UK’s world-leading centre for AI and data – The Alan Turing Institute – is signing an agreement with the French Institute – DATAIA– to promote collaboration between the French and British sectors.
Alan Wilson, CEO of The Alan Turing Institute, said:
“The fundamental goal behind all our research is to build a data and AI enriched world for the benefit of all. In order to do this, it is critical to forge international collaborations and share our knowledge, expertise and ideas with other research centres around the world.
The Institute and DATAIA both share a vision for building research in data science and AI which crosses disciplinary boundaries and recognises the societal implications of data and algorithms. It is a pleasure to kickstart this engagement and we look forward to working with them to advance UK and French excellence in this area.”
Another area where the UK is seen as leading in AI is discussions surrounding its ethical development. The Alan Turing Institute and DATAIA will also collaborate in this area to promote fairness and transparency in the design and implementation of algorithms.
Researchers from each institute will spend time at each other’s facilities and host joint workshops.
Mr Hancock and Mr Majoubi will also sign an accord on digital government. This will commit to extending their cooperation in the digital sector – on innovation, artificial intelligence, data and digital administration.
Finally, Mr Hancock will confirm the expansion of London-based Entrepreneur First (EF) to Paris. EF aims to further help founders build leading new companies and promote ties between the nations.
The announcements are made amid the backdrop of Brexit, so it’s good to see both nations continuing to forge alliances for shared future success and prosperity.