The Prime Minister and Technology Secretary have announced £100 million to begin delivery of the Government’s significant ambitions for the UK’s capacity in safe and reliable foundation models.
Building on the success of the Covid-19 Vaccine Taskforce, the task force will develop the safe and reliable use of this critical artificial intelligence (AI) across the economy and ensure that The UK is highly competitive in this crucial technology on a global scale.
Foundation models – including large language models such as ChatGPT and Google Bird – are artificial intelligence systems trained on large amounts of data, such as text, images, video, or audio, to achieve broad and sophisticated capabilities across a wide range of tasks.
The task force’s efforts will aid in achieving the Prime Minister’s goal of boosting the UK economy with the help of AI technology. This will lead to better public services and improved outcomes for people nationwide. Research suggests that widespread adoption of such a system could triple the rate of national productivity growth.
In fields such as healthcare, this type of AI has great potential to speed up diagnosis, drug discovery and development. It can transform teachers’ daily work, freeing up their time to focus on excellent teaching.
The technology is predicted to increase global GDP by 7 per cent within a decade, making it a significant opportunity for growth in the UK economy. To support business and public confidence in these systems and drive their adoption, the task force will work with the sector to develop the safety and reliability of the foundational models at both the scientific and commercial levels.
The investment will build the UK’s ‘sovereign’ national capacity to ensure that our public services can benefit from the transformative impact of such AI. The task force Our focus is on establishing the UK as a global leader in foundational models and their applications across various industries. We aim to set the standard for AI security worldwide.
Funding will be invested in Foundation Model infrastructure and public service procurement by the Foundation Model Task Force, creating opportunities for domestic innovation. The initial pilot will aim at public services within the next six months.
Last month, the Integrated Review Refresh announced the creation of a task force. This group will consist of experts from the Government and industry and will report directly to the Prime Minister and the Technology Secretary.
During the Cabinet meeting last week, ministers acknowledged the significant potential of AI to transform society. They emphasized the importance of maintaining public trust in its use and the necessity of implementing regulations that prioritize people’s safety while fostering innovation.
The task force will have an expert chair, whose name will be revealed later this summer. Matt Clifford, the Advanced Research and Innovation Agency chair, will guide the Prime Minister and Technology Secretary as they work on forming the task force and searching for members.
To support next-generation AI innovation, the UK is investing nearly £900 million in a new ‘exascale’ supercomputer and a dedicated AI research resource. These foundation models require significant computing power, and this investment aims to provide the necessary processing power. The task force will play a key role in ensuring the significant, multi-year funding announced in the budget for computing is strategically invested in prioritizing and strengthening the UK’s capacity in foundational models.
The task force will focus on establishing a secure and reliable foundation for the UK’s rapidly developing capabilities in AI. This aligns with the guidelines outlined in the recently published AI Regulation white paper.
The fund follows Business Connect, an event that brings together Government and industry to focus on making Britain the world’s most innovative economy. George Freeman, the Minister of State for DSIT, chaired a panel discussing the Government’s digital technology and life sciences initiatives. The Chancellor joined him to share how these sectors of utmost significance can boost economic growth throughout the UK.