The Academy welcomes the publication of Growing the artificial intelligence industry in the UK, an independent review by Professor Dame Wendy Hall DBE FREng FRS, Regius Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton and Jérôme Pesenti, CEO of BenevelentTech.

Philip Greenish CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, says:

“All sectors of the UK economy stand to benefit from artificial intelligence in the future, and the UK has the potential to become a world leader in the application of this technology. As well as its potential to support specific tasks such as providing trustworthy healthcare advice and enabling teachers to develop personalised education programmes for students, the use of AI may help to tackle some of the significant structural and infrastructure challenges facing society.

The proposals set out in the review led by Academy Fellow Dame Wendy Hall and Jérôme Pesenti set out a positive route to maximising the value of artificial intelligence in this country, and we look forward to working with government and industry to make them a reality.

Specifically, we stand ready to advise government on practical guidance and regulatory issues, which must be developed with sufficient expert input, and on the development of a diverse AI talent pool, large enough to fulfil the UK’s potential to become the best place in the world for businesses developing and using AI to start, grow, and thrive.   

There is a particularly urgent need to address the current shortage of artificial intelligence skills, because of the length of the education pipeline, and the AI workforce is a long way from adequately representing the diversity of UK society. Relevant skills must be developed in the broader population too, where technical and data literacy should be taken as seriously as the 3Rs.

Organisations will also need support to make best use of their data for applications in artificial intelligence, as well as to share data with other organisations to ensure the benefits of AI are open to more than a few big players. The industrial digitalisation review being led by Juergen Maier, which the Academy is contributing to, will recommend what support is needed to help industry make the most of this opportunity.”

Notes for editors

1.    The Academy contributed evidence to this independent review, which reports on how the artificial intelligence industry can be grown in the UK, making recommendations around skills, data, research and adoption of AI. The full review is available here.

2.    Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.

We have four strategic challenges:
- Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
- Address the engineering skills crisis
- Position engineering at the heart of society
- Lead the profession

For more information please contact:

Jane Sutton at the Royal Academy of Engineering

T: 020 7766 0636

E:  Jane Sutton