Prime Minister wants to attract 100 young AI talents

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced that the government will seek to attract the world’s top talent in artificial intelligence. 

During his speech to the annual conference of the Confederation of British Industry in Birmingham, the PM said that he would launch a programme to attract the world’s 100 best young talents in the AI field. 

He said: ‘One of the areas where we need to be most ambitious is AI because this isn’t just another new technology. It’s a general purpose technology like the invention of the steam engine and the computer chip, with the potential to transform every aspect of our lives.’ 

The newly appointed PM referenced scholarships and masters conversion course he instigated as Chancellor but said the UK could not allow top talent to be taken by the US and China. 

He described the strategy as ‘less “build it and they will come” and more “let them come and they will build it.”’ 

Whilst no exact details were given on the programme, the PM spoke of the scheme being part of an immigration system ‘that allows businesses to access the best and brightest from around the world.’ 

In a speech focussed on innovation, the PM also referenced the leading technology used in UK healthcare, talking about ‘robots assisting surgery’ and ‘doctors being trained with virtual reality headsets.’

photo of black metal framed glass street post near gray concrete building during daytime

Prime Minister Sunak’s speech comes as a report by WPI Economics found that the UK was ranked third globally for AI readiness, by Oxford Insights’ index which analyses points such as how ready government are to implement AI in public services. The report also found that the UK has invested more than £2.3bn into AI to modernise public services since 2014. 

The use of AI to aid the UK’s future has been the focus of many research projects in the country’s universities over recent years, including one in Lancaster University that looked at how the technology could support energy efficiency. 

Additionally, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy recently announced £1.5m of funding for an AI decarbonisation programme including £500,000 towards co-finding an AI virtual centre. 

Photo by Jordhan Madec


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