The UK will launch an “AI sandbox” to encourage pioneering research into artificial intelligence, with millions of pounds in prize money over the next decade, the chancellor of the exchequer has announced.
jeremy hunt He used his first budget to outline the early stages of a new “quantum strategy” that forms part of the government’s ambition to make the country a “tech superpower”.
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These include plans to spend £2.5bn on quantum computing by 2033. These machines are far more powerful than conventional machines and use quantum physics to store data and perform computations — both keys to AI.
“The capabilities required for complex algorithms in artificial intelligence could be provided by quantum computing,” Mr Hunt told the Commons.
His so-called sandbox will try out faster ways to help AI companies bring “cutting-edge” products to market, and could change the rules on intellectual property so they can get the materials they need.
Innovators will compete for the Manchester Prize, with £1 million in prize money up for grabs each year for the next decade.
Mr Hunt has previously said he wanted the UK to be the “next Silicon Valley”, with some of the world’s biggest technology companies based in California.
To encourage investment, the chancellor has also announced an “enhanced credit” scheme to support scientific research and development.
He told MPs: “If eligible SMEs spend 40% or more of their total expenditure on research and development, they will receive a credit worth £27 for every £100 they spend.”
Meanwhile, the video game industry will get a 34% spending credit.