Written by 4:42 pm AI, Discussions, Uncategorized

### Center of British Science and Technology Emphasizes AI and Quantum Research

Government to boost spending on computing power by £500mn to develop artificial intelligence

In this biweekly newsletter, Roula Khalaf, the managing editor of the FT, handpicks her preferred articles.

During the Autumn Statement delivered by the UK Prime Minister on Wednesday, artificial intelligence and quantum research took center stage in the discussions on advancements in science and technology.

Jeremy Hunt announced that the government is planning to boost its investment in AI by £500 million over a two-year period, bringing the total intended funding to over £1.5 billion, with a focus on enhancing computing capabilities.

This decision was influenced by criticisms that the initial allocation of £900 million for AI development in the previous budget was deemed insufficient compared to global standards, prompting other countries to allocate significantly larger budgets.

Rashik Parmar, the Chief Executive of the British Computer Society, expressed his approval, stating, “I welcome the government’s commitment to allocate an additional £500 million over the next two years to establish new development centers aimed at solidifying our position as a leader in AI technology.”

Additionally, the government introduced five ambitious “moonshot missions” as part of its £2.5 billion national quantum strategy.

These missions include the development of quantum computers in the UK capable of executing 1 trillion operations without errors, a significant leap compared to the current technology limited to a few hundred error-free operations.

Another objective is to establish the most advanced classical network globally, setting the groundwork for future quantum internet capabilities.

Chris Ballance, the CEO of Oxford Ionics, a UK-based classical computing startup, emphasized, “This goes beyond mere promises; it is a clarion call for action.”

The government’s steadfast commitment to spearheading advancements in classical technology is evident in these initiatives, signaling a clear strategic direction.

Furthermore, the Autumn Statement allocated $121 million to the UK space industry for various infrastructure projects related to communication and Earth observation technologies.

Part of this funding will support Northumbria University in Newcastle in establishing the North East Space Skills and Technology Centre with contributions from aerospace company Lockheed Martin.

Moreover, a substantial investment of £520 million has been earmarked for life sciences between 2025 and 2026, along with revisions to research and development tax credits expected to provide an additional relief of $280 million annually, a move applauded by the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors.

Steve Bates, the CEO of the BioIndustry Association, highlighted the significance of enhanced tax incentives for research-intensive companies, foreseeing a positive impact on business expansion, job creation, and the expedited delivery of new medical treatments.

Sarah Main, the executive director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering, expressed optimism, stating, “The holistic approach outlined in the Autumn Statement reflects the government’s innovative strategies to foster long-term research support and stimulate growth across the science sector.”

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Last modified: February 21, 2024
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