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August 24, 2023

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Artificial Intelligence

UK to spend £100m to produce AI chips

The UK Government has announced it will be spending £100m to accelerate its positioning within the global race to produce computer chips that will be used to power artificial intelligence (AI).

The funds are said to be used to build a national AI resource in Britain, and be ordered through major chipmaking companies such as Intel, AMD and Nvidia.

It was also revealed that the government is already in advanced stages of an order of up to 5,000 graphics processing units (GPUs) from Nvidia. The GPUs, also known as graphics cards, play a crucial part of a chip’s capacity for processing: vital for performing complex actions such as those required by AI.

Steven Mooney, CEO of FundMyPitch, said: “It’s encouraging to see a substantial investment being made in AI, at a time when the technology is set to completely reshape the way businesses operate. However, not enough is being done to support the UK’s home grown tech talent, with far too many ambitious entrepreneurs and innovators struggling to obtain funding, despite producing industry-leading products.

“The reality is that for many AI start-ups, getting the opportunity to secure a credible valuation and attract the attention of investors is an almost impossible task. This needs to change immediately if we want to play a leading role in the AI industry.”

The UK currently accounts for around 0.5 per cent of semiconductor sales globally.

An official who was briefed on the plans had added that £100m is ‘relatively low’ in comparison to investments compared by the US, EU and China.

“Global leader”

In May, Rishi Sunak’s government revealed plans to invest £1bn over the next decade in semiconductor research, design and production, in comparison to the US’s $52bn (£41bn) Chips Act, and EU subsidies of €43bn (£37bn).

Sunak’s focus on regulation has sought to viewing the UK as the potential bridge between US and China following the White House’s ban on US investments in advanced Chinese semiconductors earlier this month.

Aimed to further strengthen the UK’s stance on AI, the government is set to hold an AI summit this autumn in Bletchley Park to help establish shared standards and regulation.

A government spokesperson said: “We are committed to supporting a thriving environment for compute in the UK which maintains our position as a global leader across science, innovation and technology.

“The additional money being delivered through UKRI will complement the separate £100m investment to establish the Foundation Model Taskforce. Announcements on the AI Research Resource will follow in due course.”

Further listening: Tune in to to Episode 14 of the Security in Focus podcast where we speak to Rajat Kotra, Group Director for Analytics and AI at Informa, as we discuss all things Artificial Intelligence:

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