On Monday, the UK declared a primary fund of £100 million ($124 million) aimed at fostering the secure and trustworthy utilisation of artificial intelligence throughout the economy.
In a statement, the government noted that foundation models, such as large language models like ChatGPT and Google Bard, have diverse applications throughout the economy.
Task force to support secure and reliable foundation models
The fresh funding will support the establishment of a task force, jointly managed by the government and industry, to guarantee the availability of reliable and secure foundation models for widespread use domestically.
The Prime Minister said: “Harnessing the potential of AI provides enormous opportunities to grow our economy, create better-paid jobs, and build a better future through advances in healthcare and security.
“By investing in emerging technologies through our new expert taskforce, we can continue to lead the way in developing safe and trustworthy AI as part of shaping a more innovative UK economy.”
Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, added: “Developed responsibly, cutting-edge AI can have a transformative impact in nearly every industry.
“It can revolutionise the way we develop new medical treatments, tackle climate change and improve our public services, all while growing and future-proofing our economy.”
The UK aims to cultivate independent AI capabilities, known as ‘sovereign’ AI, through this initiative, with the potential to enhance fields such as healthcare and education.
Nationwide emergency alert system tested
The UK government has recently demonstrated its commitment to leveraging the benefits and advancements of technology, as evidenced by the successful execution of the inaugural nationwide trial of its emergency alert system on Sunday, which reached millions of individuals. Despite being scheduled to be sent out at 3pm, a number of individuals claimed that they did not receive the message, while others reported receiving it at different times. A mobile phone network representative acknowledged that some of their clients did not receive the alert and stated that they were collaborating with the government to determine the cause and prevent future occurrences.
A spokesperson commented that they are collaborating with the government to identify the cause of the issue and prevent it from occurring while the system is operational.
A UK government spokesman said: “We have effectively completed the test of the UK-wide Emergency Alerts system, the biggest public communications exercise of its kind ever done.
“We are working with mobile network operators to review the outcome and any lessons learned.”
The development of the national alert system has been underway for over ten years, with initial tests taking place in 2013 using regional alerts. A review conducted in 2014 strongly recommended proceeding with the programme, with responders expressing a strong desire for a national mobile alert system to be implemented.
According to a statement, the system is considered an effective means of prompting people to take specific protective measures in the event of an emergency. Despite being a significant challenge, there was a shared belief that issuing alerts to the general public within 15 minutes of a decision being made was possible. The Cabinet Office noted that it will examine the outcome of the nationwide test and acknowledged that only a “very small proportion of mobile users on some networks did not receive it.”
The purpose of the test is to familiarise the public with the appearance and sound of the alerts in case they need to be issued in the future during events like severe weather, flooding, or fires. The company responsible for the alert system has previously deployed the same technology for other countries, including Germany, New Zealand, Singapore, and the Netherlands, and claims that it will be a “game changer” for public safety.
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