NEWS DIGEST 26.09.2021: UK to develop into AI ‘superpower’; other AI tech stories

Good morning!. Our news today comes from Google News, and concerns the latest developments in the world of artificial intelligence (AI).

Robots powered by artificial intelligence could farm more sustainably than traditional agriculture, claims one Silicon Valley company (agricultural technology start-up Iron Ox). With a degree in robotics “precisely to escape farm work”, Iron Ox CEO Brandon Alexander says he couldn’t shake the feeling that he could have a bigger impact working in agriculture. He wanted to discover first-hand what problems American farmers were facing and figure out how automation could help. Iron Ox’s system uses artificial intelligence to ensure each plant gets the optimal levels of sunshine, water, and nutrients. Data is continuously collected from the crops helping the AI learn what the plants need – improving their yield and reducing their environmental impact – Could these AI robots replace farmers and make agriculture more sustainable? ( – Eco-Innovation)

Photo by Tara Winstead on

LONDON – The U.K. government on Wednesday released its 10-year plan to make the country a global “artificial intelligence superpower”, seeking to rival the likes of the U.S. and China. Among them, a new National AI Research and Innovation program will be launched as part of an effort to improve coordination and collaboration between the country’s researchers. The AI researcher said that in recent years it seems as though the government has done more to destroy what makes the U.K. an appealing seat for research and entrepreneurship than they have to incentivize it. Seb Krier, a senior policy researcher at the Stanford Cyber research center, said via Twitter that there are some “very promising” aspects to the National AI Strategy, while DeepMind COO Lila Ibrahim said it’s good to see a clear focus on effective governance of the technology, adding that it’s vital to earn public and business trust in AI. The launch of the National AI Strategy comes after the U.K. government allowed tech giants in the U.S. and Asia to snap up some of Britain’s most innovative AI companies – UK publishes 10-year plan to become ‘A.I. superpower’, seeking to rival U.S. and China (CNBC – Tech)

The UK looks set to shift away from the EU on the regulation of artificial intelligence, promising in a new strategy to build the most “pro-innovation system” in the world. In contrast to the EU’s proposed AI act, London’s strategy does not propose prohibiting controversial uses of AI, such as subliminal manipulation, and instead stresses the economic benefits of rolling out the technology across the private sector. “The strategy is a product of politics and identity,” said Charlie Pownall, the founder of the lobby group AIAAIC, which campaigns for transparency and openness in AI. “The emphasis on innovation and talk of Britain as a ‘global AI superpower’ fits the rhetoric of a newly independent, outward-facing country boasting real AI expertise looking to carve itself a role as a significant economic force on the world stage,” he said. There is only one mention of the EU’s AI Act, and the strategy stresses that the UK will work to shape global AI governance “in line with our values” and “prevent divergence and friction between partners”. Conversely, there appear to be overtures to the US on AI. The strategy commits the UK to ratify the “US UK declaration on cooperation in AI R&D”, a statement last year promising to deepen research cooperation and drive “technological breakthroughs” – UK sets out ‘pro-innovation’ AI rules, in further move away from Brussels (Science Business)

Ministers are set to launch plans to develop British interests in artificial intelligence as part of a wider government push to support the tech sector this week. The AI plan comes ahead of a new space strategy later this month similarly designed to foster UK industries in the sector, and forms part of a broader push by ministers to develop the next wave of innovative businesses to compete with global tech rivals from the US and China. On Monday, prime minister Boris Johnson will also declare that the UK’s “tech revolution is creating jobs, driving growth and boosting investment across the country” as part of the week’s tech events. Data published on Monday will show that the UK is on course for a record year of tech investment in 2021, with £13.5bn committed to end of June across 1,700 companies. A new report from the Digital Economy Council and Tech Nation, the government-backed industry lobby group, shows that the number of tech vacancies is now 42 per cent higher than it was before the pandemic, with one in eight jobs in the UK now defined as being in the tech sector – UK to develop AI strategy as part of tech sector push (Financial Times – UK politics and policy)

Oracle Corp announced on Monday a new system that it says will use artificial intelligence to automate key parts of digital marketing campaigns. Once primarily known for its database software, Oracle is competing against firms like Adobe Inc and Inc to sell cloud-based software used for marketing business-to-business products that typically cost thousands of dollars or more. Oracle’s Fusion Marketing system, as the product announced Monday is called, uses artificial intelligence to automatically assemble marketing campaigns and determine whether the people who interact with emails or advertisements might eventually buy a product, sending their contact information to sales teams. Some of the data will come from massive marketplaces of third-party data that Oracle has acquired in recent years to grow its digital advertising business. “A lot of it is much more measurable than it has been in the past,” Rob Tarkoff, executive vice president or Oracle’s advertising and customer experience cloud, said of digital marketing campaigns – Oracle uses AI to automate parts of digital marketing (Reuters – Disrupted)

Summarised by SMMRY.

Happy birthday Suraj!! 🎂😎😜😩😆🎊🎊🎊 :: 27.09.2021

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