Investors poured a record level of money into the UK’s artificial intelligence (AI) sector during the first half of 2019.
Trailing behind only China and the US, the UK is currently third in the world for raising investment in AI after hitting an all-time high in the six months to June this year.
Investment in AI technology grew almost six-fold from 2014 to 2018, with UK AI scaleups raising almost double that of France, Germany and the rest of Europe combined last year, according to new figures collated by Tech Nation.
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The group found that AI funding in the UK has already surpassed 2018’s figures, rising from $1.02bn (£830m) in 2018 to $1.06bn in the first 6 months of 2019.
“Britain has a long history as a global leader in computing technologies and it is home to the early pioneers of AI – Ada Lovelace and Alan Turing. It is great to see our legacy in this field continue by the next generation of British AI startups who are using the power of technology to solve real-world problems such as tackling fake news, detecting cancer earlier and efficiently managing waste,” said digital minister Matt Warman.
The data from Tech Nation came as the network announced the 29 companies joining the UK’s first Applied AI growth programme, the inaugural sector policy aiming to “support the AI founders that are making a positive and tangible impact on today’s society at a crucial stage of their growth journey”.
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From tackling climate change to finding new medical cures, the cohort were chosen on their ability to provide AI-driven solutions to current problems, Tech Nation said.