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UK & USA co-operate in AI R&D enterprise

A “shared vision” of the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, for driving technological breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI) has been published on 25 September 2020.

This new research and development (R&D) based declaration builds on the US-UK Science and Technology Agreement, which was signed in September 2017.

The UK Government states that both parties agreed on the following:

Acknowledging the advantages and opportunities of AI

Integrating AI into the economy will help to provide economic growth, development into health and wellbeing and the protection of democratic values and national security, all of which will contribute to empowering citizens and improving the quality of their lives. Moreover, by promoting a technological ecosystem, it could inspire more innovation.

Acknowledging the importance of collaboration in the early stages of R&D

Realising the value of public-private-partnerships is essential as they enrich the AI R&D enterprise, enhance technology commercialisation, and create value for the public. Additionally, they determine the research foundations for future AI innovations.

Empowering and enabling current and future generations of R&D workers

How? By ensuring the development of AI-related technical skills and roles, such as apprenticeships, reskilling programs, computer science, plus science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

Moreover, both parties intend to develop their shared vision and work towards an AI R&D ecosystem that embodies this approach by doing the following:

  • “Taking stock of and utilising existing bilateral science and technology cooperation and multilateral cooperation frameworks;
  • “Recommending priorities for future cooperation, particularly in R&D areas where each partner shares strong common interest and brings complementary challenges, regulatory or cultural considerations, or expertise to the partnerships;
  • “Coordinating as appropriate the planning and programming of relevant activities in these areas, including promoting researcher and student collaboration that could potentially involve national partners, the private sector, academia, and the scientific community to further our efforts by harnessing the value of public-private partnerships; and
  • “Promoting research and development in AI, focusing on challenging technical issues, and protecting against efforts to adopt and apply these technologies in the service of authoritarianism and repression.”

With this declaration in place, the UK Government intends to “establish a bilateral Government-to-Government dialogue on the areas identified in this vision and explore an AI R&D ecosystem that promotes the mutual wellbeing, prosperity, and security of present and future generations.”

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