In March 2019 the European Commission intends to finalise AI Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI). The EU Commission’s High Level Expert Group published draft ethics guidelines in December 2018 and stakeholders had until 18 January 2019 to provide feedback.
Advances in technology and changing business models are transforming the global economy across all industry sectors. The measures announced by the Chancellor in Monday’s Budget Speech showcase how the UK Government is seeking to embrace innovation and new and emerging technologies, to ensure the UK’s position as a leader in our evolving digital landscape.
In this bulletin we set out some of the key highlights from the Budget from a technology and digital perspective.
A vision for an economy driven by research and innovation
The Budget is stated to set out “a vision for an economy driven by research and innovation”. In particular:
- The Chancellor announced a further £1.6 billion investment for R&D funding; with £1.1 billion providing additional funding to support the Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges and secure the “UK’s position as a world leader in new and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, nuclear fusion and quantum computing”.
- The Government is also seeking to ensure businesses and consumers continue to benefit from these new technologies, including by asking Jason Furman, US President Barak Obama’s chief economic adviser, to lead a review of competition in the digital economy.
- These efforts are further supported by the Government’s Modern Industrial Strategy; a key component of which is the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF), established in 2016 to provide additional capital investment in areas critical to productivity – namely digital infrastructure, R&D, housing and transport. The Budget extends the NPIF by an extra year to 2023-2024 and increases the fund to £37 billion.
- The Budget sets out next steps for the rollout of full fibre broadband nationwide, which will see funding for fibre and 5G increase incrementally from £25 million in 2017-2018 up to £290 million in 2023 – 2024 through the NPIF.
- The Government also proposes investments totalling £150 million in global artificial intelligence and future talent fellowships.