Realising the many benefits of Artificial Intelligence

04 October 2021

Following on from Rishi Sunak's speech to the Conservative Party Conference where he set out the potential benefits of Artificial Intelligence to the UK, the Russell Group has welcomed the Chancellor's ambition to make the most of the UK's global strength in this area.

The ambition set out in his speech underlines the importance of the Government meeting its commitment to increase public spending on R&D to £22bn per year by 2024/25. The Russell Group has previously welcomed this commitment and the recognition that the country’s future will depend more than ever on ideas and talent to deliver sustainable growth.

In our submission to the Comprehensive Spending Review, the Russell Group has set out a series of proposals on how the Government could meet that commitment to R&D while delivering the best value for every pound of public money it spends. For more information click here.

Since 1960, the University of Edinburgh has pioneered research in Artificial Intelligence becoming the first university in the UK to teach it as a subject.

Commenting on the Chancellor's speech, Professor Peter Mathieson, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Edinburgh, said:

“The University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s most established centres of excellence in Artificial Intelligence. In the 1960s we pioneered research in the area and became only the second university in the world – and first in the UK – to teach it as a subject. We have not let up since. Edinburgh is now home to the UK’s super computer, Archer 2, and Europe’s biggest computer science research grouping.

“Our Bayes Centre carries out cutting-edge research in data science and AI, while our newly formed Edinburgh Future’s Institute is exploring the emerging ethical, social and political implications of AI for the world. These centres are just two of five data-driven innovation hubs funded by the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal. From these strong foundations we work with other research-intensive universities on AI projects and collaborate with partners from the private and public sectors – such as the NHS and local authorities – to help realise the many benefits of AI.”

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