Home Estate Planning Spring Budget 2024: Hunt poised to double AI funding through Alan Turing Institute

Spring Budget 2024: Hunt poised to double AI funding through Alan Turing Institute

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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is set to announce a doubling of funding for the Alan Turing Institute, the national hub for data science and artificial intelligence (AI), during his Spring Budget announcement.

An extra £100m spread over five years will go towards three key areas where AI is poised to make a big difference: in healthcare discoveries, protecting the environment and bolstering national defence.

A Treasury source said: “With the UK home to a third of Europe’s AI companies, investing in this pivotal technology is a vital opportunity to grow the economy and deliver a brighter future for Britain.

“By backing the Turing Institute, we’re taking a further step in our plan to ensure that we are at the forefront of shaping how technology transforms our lives for the better.”

The Turing Institute, named after the renowned computer scientist who is sometimes referred to as ‘the father of AI’, was established in 2015 to make advances in data science and AI.

The institute said: “Our aim is that 10 years from now, the Turing will be internationally recognised as a centre of research and innovation that harnesses the power of data science and artificial intelligence to make a lasting impact on the world’s most pressing societal issues.”

The government is determined for the UK to be a leading science and tech superpower, but the nation currently ranks fourth globally behind the US, China and Singapore in the Global AI Index created by British media company Tortoise.

Hunt has previously suggested the government should aim to take a “light touch” approach to regulating the emerging technology field as he spoke at Davos earlier this year, allowing companies to innovate with fewer boundaries.

He also reckons AI can turn the tide on the UK’s lagging productivity levels. Over the weekend, the government revealed plans to deliver up to £1.8bn worth of benefits by 2029 through improving public sector productivity.

Civil servants are hopeful that AI could reduce the burden of unnecessary admin, according to a recent survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

In his Spring Budget, Hunt is expected to announce a raft of changes including tax cuts, extending the freeze on fuel duty and possibly introducing a tax on vaping.

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