Business: Artificial Intelligence

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 13th May 2019.

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Photo of Nicholas Soames Nicholas Soames Conservative, Mid Sussex

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what guidance his Department has issued to businesses on preparing their workforce for the effect of the introduction of Artificial Intelligence.

Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education)

The Industrial Strategy sets out the Government’s vision to make the UK a global centre for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data innovation. We have committed to improving the UK's system for training in digital skills and lifelong learning, to ensure that working people have the support they need to benefit from the opportunities offered by automation towards a higher-wage future. Government is in regular discussion with business and business representative organisations, including issues affecting the workforce.

The AI Sector Deal brings together commitments from Government, Industry and Academia in a £0.95bn package of support to promote the adoption and use of AI, supported by up to £110 million government investment, which includes:

  • 16 New Centres for Doctoral Training at universities across the country, delivering 1,000 new PhDs over the next 5 years;
  • New prestigious AI fellowships to attract and retain the top AI talent, underpinned by up to £50m of funding agreed at Autumn Budget; and
  • Industry-funding for new AI Masters places.

Government is investing £406 million in maths, digital and technical education, and in the 2018 Autumn Budget, my rt. hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced an initial £100 million to start the roll out of the National Retraining Scheme, an ambitious, far-reaching programme to drive adult learning and retraining.

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