Editorial

Google AI expert tapped as adviser to new ‘Government Office for Artificial Intelligence’

Google AI subsidiary DeepMind’s Demis Hassabis asked to provide ‘expert industry guidance’ to help country ‘build the skills and capability it needs to capitalise on the huge social and economic potential of AI’, says Whitehall

Posted 2 July 2018 by

Demis Hassabis was confirmed last week as an adviser to the new official UK ‘Office for Artificial Intelligence’ as the UK “looks to cement its place as a world leader in the fast-growing technology”, in the government’s view.

Hassabis, co-founder of originally UK-based Google-owned AI firm DeepMind, has been asked to will provide expert industry guidance to help the UK build the skills and capability it needs to capitalise on the huge social and economic potential of AI – a key part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy.

“Whether it’s improving travel, making banking easier or helping people live longer, AI is already revolutionising our economy and our society,” claimed said Digital Secretary Matt Hancock. “Britain is already an authority in AI, with the world’s best AI company and the leading use of AI in Government. We are determined to capitalise on this position.”

“Artificial intelligence provides significant opportunities for future economic growth, which is why we made it a crucial part of our modern Industrial Strategy and worked with industry on a sector deal that outlines how we will ensure the UK is best placed to realise this potential,” added Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Hancock also announced that he has set up a new AI Council, described by his Department as “a new industry body tasked with increasing growth in the AI sector and promoting its adoption in other sectors of the economy”.

Both announcements are claimed to be further fruit of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, and follow the Grand Challenges announced in May by the Prime Minister to use the county’s power in research and innovation to ensure the benefits of technology are felt by everyone.

“I’m honoured to be taking on the role of Adviser to the Office for AI, and look forward to the huge opportunity that lies ahead,” said Hassabis.

“I’ve always believed that AI could be one of the most important and widely beneficial breakthroughs of the 21st century – and as a proud Londoner, it’s fantastic to see the UK’s world-class universities and start-ups already making major scientific advances.”