Government report reveals how development of artificial intelligence can unlock £630bn for the UK economy

Oliver Gill
Follow Oliver
Animatronic baby commissioned for the exhibition on display at the Science Museum at Preview Of The Science Museum's Robots Exhibition
After a recent surge, automation is set to escalate, the report concluded (Source: Getty)

Robots can be used to perform a raft of benign and "dangerous" jobs to unlock £630bn for the UK economy, ministers said today.

Tasks including smarter scheduling of medical operations and hiring on-demand self-driving cars can be performed by machines, according to a government-commissioned report into how artificial intelligence (AI) can be developed.

Culture minister Karen Bradley said the UK has "some of the best minds in the world working on AI" and urged industry and academia to work more closely together.

She said: “I want the UK to lead the way in AI. It has the potential to improve our everyday lives – from healthcare to robots that perform dangerous tasks."

The report makes 18 key recommendations for developing AI in the UK and was led by Professor Dame Wendy Hall, regius professor of computer science at the University of Southampton.

Read more: This startup is using AI to tackle rising UK energy prices

She said:

AI has been around for a very long time as a concept and this latest surge of technological development is likely to see automation continue to escalate and accelerate in every walk of life.

Now is the time for us all - scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs and the government - to come together and address the issues about how AI is going to impact society.

Published in January, the government's industrial strategy green paper identified AI as a major, high-potential opportunity for the UK to lead the way in the sector.

Business secretary Greg Clark said: "This important review exemplifies the world-class expertise the UK already has in AI, demonstrating the huge social and economic benefits its use can bring."

Growing the Artificial Intelligence Industry in the UK – key recommendations

Skills: increasing the UK’s AI expertise through new initiatives including an industry-funded Masters programme, and conversion courses to bring a broader range of people into the field.
Increasing uptake: helping organisations and workers understand how AI can boost their productivity and make better products and services, including public services.
Data: ensuring that people and organisations can be confident that use of data for AI is safe, secure and fair by making more data available, including from publicly-funded research.
Research: building on the UK’s strong record in cutting-edge AI research, including making the Alan Turing Institute a national institute for AI.

Read more: AI can liberate humans to lead happier lives, if we get it right

Related articles