UK joins forces with France on artificial intelligence and data

The UK and France will share expertise on AI and research, work together to improve digital services and collaborate to develop tech talent

The UK and French governments have agreed on a series of collaborative measures, aiming to boost the countries’ digital economies. 

This includes the UK’s Alan Turing Institute signing a deal with France’s DATAIA institute to collaborate on several research areas, including transparency in designing and implementing algorithms, sharing expertise and hosting joint workshops.  

It also includes France and UK signing a five-year agreement “to work together to improve digital services”.

Alan Wilson, CEO of the Alan Turing Insitute, said the fundamental goal is to build a data and artificial intelligence (AI) enriched world to benefit everyone.

“To do this, it is critical to forge international collaborations and share our knowledge, expertise and ideas with other research centres around the world,” he said.

“The Institute and DATAIA both share a vision for building research in data science and AI, which crosses disciplinary boundaries and recognises the societal implications of data and algorithms.”

The two governments agreed on the measures during the Digital Colloque in France. The colloque is a result of plans made earlier this year to host a joint digital conference where experts from both countries would come together and share knowledge and skills on a range of issues such as AI, cyber security and digital skills.

This follows the same model as the UK-France Taskforce on Data Innovation, which focused on understanding the potential of big data.

Speaking at the event, digital secretary Matt Hancock said a “Strong France begets a strong Britain”.  

“The UK is a digital dynamo, increasingly recognised across the world as a place where ingenuity and innovation can flourish. We are home to four in 10 of Europe’s tech businesses worth more than $1bn, and London is the AI capital of Europe,” he said.

“France is also doing great work in this area, and these new partnerships show the strength and depth of our respective tech industries and are the first stage in us developing a closer working relationship. This will help us better serve our citizens and provide a boost for our digital economies.”

The two countries will also collaborate on fostering tech talent, and startup accelerator Entrepeneur First will soon open a Paris office.

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