UK poised to become next AI and ML superpower

The UK is surpassing European rivals when it comes to the use of artificial intelligence. This development is gearing the UK to become the next AI superpower across Europe and the wider world.

“Data driven decision-making is the key to modernising the UK’s public services, as was exampled during the pandemic,” said Michelle Donelan MP, secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport. “We wholeheartedly agree that the UK could and should be a global superpower in this space in the coming years, and we have ambitious plans on data that will allow this to become a reality.” 

Since receiving investment, the UK Government has set up the new Defence AI centre and the NHS AI Lab. The success of these programmes has seen AI imaging help healthcare workers screen efficiently for diseases including cancer and relieved the backlog of patients from the pandemic. 

“The UK has the potential to be a global superpower in the adoption of emerging technologies such as AI and ML to help tackle major policy challenges from climate change to healthcare,” said Petra Jenner, senior vice president and general manager for EMEA, Splunk. “There are further opportunities available around emerging technologies, but they require investment in up-to-date software and modernising legacy IT systems. Many AI and ML tools rely on interoperability across departments and a lack of data sharing across UK Government and public sectors has ultimately stalled deployment.” 

The UK Government has an opportunity to update Whitehall’s legacy IT systems, providing government bodies with the capability to boost data sharing both within and across different agencies. This will allow for AI and ML solutions that can provide new solutions for socio-economic challenges, crime reduction and educational inequalities.  

The research, carried out by WPI Economics on behalf of Splunk, examined FranceGermany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and how these respective nations used data for government policy making. The focus for the nations was shown to been on reducing education and health inequalities, improving natural environments and combating organised crime. Additionally, the report indicated the impact Covid-19 had on influencing data ambitions across Europe and highlighted data gaps that were exacerbated during the height of the pandemic. 

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