The UK Government is Putting £100 million Towards AI Chip Development

10 mins

According to The Telegraph, the UK government is dedicating £100 million to AI hardware inno...

According to The Telegraph, the UK government is dedicating £100 million to AI hardware innovation and development, in the help of combating shortages of computer chips in the future. The plan is being led by two organisations, UK Research and Innovation and the Development for Science, Innovation and Technology. There’s a lot of competition around the world for semiconductor chips, which is why the investment into AI innovation has been prioritised. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic and stockpiling, there has been a lot of demand for semiconductor chips, but they have also been in limited supply. This has led to many countries, including the UK, focusing their attention on becoming the ‘go to’ place for companies to boost chip supply. NVIDIA, Intel and AMD are three companies the government is hoping to use. As semiconductor chips play a key part in generative AI models, this is where the government is focusing its investment.

The UK’s Investment Focuses on Generative AI Models
The UK government’s £100 million investment will go towards chips that are suitable for generative AI models, in the hope of creating better AI resources. As well as this initial investment, the UK also hopes to put £900 million towards compute capacity development. This will include the development of an exascale supercomputer. 

The UK’s £100 million investment into AI showcases a growing global trend, with countries competing to be key players in chip innovation. As semiconductor chips have been in limited supply and production depends on a handful of companies, competition has developed between businesses and companies. Currently, the UK produces 0.5% of global semiconductor sales, but the government is hoping to keep up with the EU, US and China. The US invested $52 billion into the semiconductor industry in August, and the EU offered €43 billion with its European Chips Act in July. At the moment, the AI industry adds £3.7 billion to the UK economy, and it employees tens of thousands of people. 

How the UK’s AI Investment Will Impact Global Businesses
The UK’s AI investment and regulations could have a big impact on global businesses, but this will depend on the type of business that you have. There has been a lot of talk about AI regulation in the UK and the US, and many businesses have already shared their thoughts. Salesforce has plans to join the UK’s business world, putting $4 billion into it in upcoming years. The company has shared its interest in regulations that encourage innovation, rather than those that hinder it.

Zahra Bahroloumi, Chief Executive Officer of Salesforce UKI, explained that: “A clear pro-innovation regulatory framework that compels safe and responsible use of AI is vital, and Salesforce is fully focused on bringing secure, trusted, enterprise ready generative AI to UK businesses.
Andrew Gamino-Cheong, Co-Found and Chief Technology Officer of Trustible, said: “The EU’s AI Act doesn’t provide a lot of ‘carrot’ for good AI, mostly a ‘stick'. A lot of the US AI space is focusing on the US market itself, and so there’s a huge opportunity for other non-US AI players to emerge and cater towards the broader global economy. The Chinese AI regulations are incompatible with the standards most other countries have, and so the non-US and EU markets for AI are relatively underserved, and the UK’s deep connections to the international finance world can help it become an AI powerhouse serving those markets.”

The UK’s AI Safety Summit is being hosted this November, and it’s likely to be when additional news about the UK’s investment into AI innovation comes to light. 

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