Government announces industry-funded AI master’s degrees

A series of industry-funded master’s degrees in AI has been announced by business secretary Greg Clark and digital secretary Jeremy Wright

Up to 200 new AI master’s places will be available at UK universities, funded by companies such as Cisco, BAE Systems, DeepMind
and QuantumBlack.

The degrees are part of a ‘skills and talent package’ which is part of the UK Industrial Strategy’s AI Sector Deal, launched in April 2018. This deal will receive up to £110m in government investment, as well as industry funding.

We will be able to train the next generation of top-tier AI talent

One thousand PhD programmes will also be available at 16 dedicated UK research and innovation AI Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) across the country, as well as up to five AI research fellowships in collaboration with The Alan Turing Institute. These fellowships aim to attract top research talent from around the world.

Digital secretary Jeremy Wright said: “Working with world-class academic institutions and industry we will be able to train the next generation of top-tier AI
talent and maintain the UK’s reputation as a trailblazer in emerging technologies.”

He added: “The schemes, aimed at people of different stages in higher education and available to researchers at a variety of levels, help to build advanced AI skills at all levels, a key commitment contained within the AI Sector Deal.”


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The new programme is supported by figures from Tech Nation, which has revealed that the number of venture capital investments into AI in the UK grew by 17% last year.

UK research and innovation chief executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport, said: “To maintain its leadership in AI, the UK will need a new generation of researchers, business leaders and entrepreneurs equipped with new skills.”

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