Artificial intelligence in post-Brexit Britain
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Artificial intelligence in post-Brexit Britain

Prime Minister Theresa May might have her hands full with Brexit negotiations, but other members of her government have been thinking about artificial intelligence (AI). March will see the release of the governments highly anticipated Digital Strategy – a “major review” of what AI, and a number of other tech areas, means for the country.

According to global strategic consultancy Accenture, AI could contribute £654 billion to the UK economy over the next 18 years. However, according to the same company, in the next 13 years up to 250,000 public sector jobs could be lost, as people are replaced by a swathe of new-and-improved chat bots, AIs, and automation.

Jerome Pesenti from BenevolentAI will be one of the researchers leading the review. He said:

“There has been a lot of unwarranted negative hype around Artificial Intelligence (AI), but it has the ability to drive enormous growth for the UK economy, create jobs, foster new skills, positively transform every industry and retain Britain’s status as a world leader in innovative technology."   

Some of this ‘negative hype’ has emerged from Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom, amongst others, who have popularized what they believe to be a number of “existential risks” inherent in the creation of artificial “superintelligence” – Bostrom’s term for an AI that can improve itself, leading to an endless sequence of self-programmed advancements.

While Bostrom’s work has contributed to scaremongering amongst the public, he has been wildly influential in AI research, inspiring Elon Musk and consulting with Google over controls for its market-leading AI service, DeepMind.

The governments’ Digital Strategy is due to be published on March 1 by the secretary for state for culture, Karen Bradley. As well as its AI review and related areas, the strategy is expected to confirm a further £17.3 million in research money for the robotics and AI industries.

Dominion holds a number of companies that work within the artificial intelligence field in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund. These include, but are not limited to, Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Facebook, Baidu, and Amazon.

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