Artificial Intelligence Industry in the UK
On 15 December 2021 Big Innovation Centre held an online Press Launch of the major analysis and report, ‘AI Industry in the UK Landscape Overview 2021'. It is a new version of the previous analysis and report published in dialogue with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence (APPG AI) in 2018.
Press Launch Recordings
Full Press Launch of UK Artificial Intelligence Industry 2021
Professor Birgitte Andersen, CEO of Big Innovation Centre
Dmitry Kaminskiy, CEO of Deep Knowledge Group
Lord Clement-Jones CBE - APPG AI Co-Chair
Stephen Metcalfe MP - APPG AI Co-Chair
Professor Stuart Russell - British computer scientist and founder of the Center for Human-Compatible Artificial Intelligence, UC Berkeley
Charles Kerrigan: Partner CMS Law
Dr. Scott Steedman: Director of Standards at British Standards Institution (BSI)
Questions & Answers
Quotes from AI in the UK Press Launch
London is home to 1300 AI companies, comprising 65% of the entire UK AI industry ecosystem and the most active AI hub in Europe. More broadly, it is notable the strong AI presence in the rest of the country with over 700 other AI companies across the UK working to develop the field making London the AI capital of Europe and the UK a true AI nation.
It's very promising to see how fast the UK AI industry bounced back this year, in spite of global trends. We at Deep Knowledge Group remain committed to harness the power of technology and to promote investments to strengthen and expand the industry. Together, with our partners in government and the private sector, we are fostering growth through the creation of regional tech hubs to enhance London’s already accelerating influence on the global industry.
We are heading up some very crucial components of AI which can be assembled to make the perfect equation.
Let’s consider the AI industry as a new asset class and apply innovations to support investment activity and rounds. Using Fintech as an example, regulators such as FCA, they applied innovations and regulations to support the growth of the financial industry, that's why London is known as a global capital of the fintech industry. This level of support will also elevate our I industry to the same level.
Our first report produced 3 years ago, it was the most comprehensive mapping of the AI industry in the UK.
Europe in general and the UK in particular, has seen a reduction of the ‘brain drain’ - losing our students and talent to the US and Silicon Valley - but the last few years has seen the increase of homegrown startups.
The UK has really attracted more investment in spite of global trends.
If I was asked, “I want to establish a new AI startup, where in the world should I do this” I would tell them to set it up in the UK.
Dmitry Kaminskiy Founder of Deep Knowledge Analytics and Co-founder of Innovation Eye
“AI entrepreneurship activity in the UK is is close to finance, marketing, and regulatory bodies that are needed to grow it and grow the AI community”.
“ The UK has a virtuous circle of growth in AI development, investment, deployment, and adoption”.
As of today we can identify £9bn more investment into UK AI entrepreneurship since our previous analysis 3 years ago in 2018, with the largest sectors by funding being FinTech, followed closely by Healthcare, and Marketing and Advertisement.
Prof. Birgitte Andersen
The UK’s AI industry can’t succeed without political support and regulatory certainty so I am delighted to see evidence in this report that investment and uptake of AI technology and integration is now happening in cooperation with regulators and policy bodies which are playing a pivotal and positive role to help promote dialogue with industry, stakeholders and citizens to shape the AI technologies to become ethical and purposeful.
2022 will see additional growth of AI startups alongside the big AI companies.
We have to recognise a lot of this is down to creative skills, creatively understanding how to use the technology, and not relying solely on STEM.
While we’re making progress, we need to be better at the commercialisation and the translation of tech into business.
What we need are risk based standards and regulations for AI, that in itself will provide some certainty for developers and those who procure AI, it will provide great stimulus, but we need to make sure the UK is in line with international standards.
Lord Clement-Jones CBE (Co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence)
I welcome this landscape report of the UK AI industry, which breaks down on a company-by-company basis more than £13 billion worth of investment into UK AI companies. We now have an opportunity to use every tool of our new AI technologies to develop, deploy and use them for the public, common, enterprise, economic, and social good. The detailed results described in the report must be considered by the politicians and the AI office of the government leading the AI strategy.
We need curriculum reform at a much earlier level, let's look at what we are teaching young people and whether we are teaching enough to prepare for the jobs of today., and tomorrow.
We need to make sure the talent pipeline is full! We do this by raising general population knowledge and understanding of the AI sector so its seen as something there that people can succeed, prosper and address some of the great challenges we address nationally and internationally. If we raise that knowledge, it will fill that pipeline and the pipeline will see to the sector growing.
Stephen Metcalfe MP (Co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence)
There is an urgent need to coordinate our efforts across the AI community to agree standards and best practices. This report helps to identify the entire AI ecosystem of entrepreneurship, investors, business and policy leaders, regulators and developers. Mapping the dialogue and the discussion will enable us to promote UK leadership in AI technology and governance through new standards and purpose.
Regulating AI is not black and white. Regulation is not prescriptive, maybe in some countries. But in the UK we are so much more advanced in the way that we use regulation. We need to think of the world, emerging from covid, as a rules based environment.
For AI in particular, it’s a very nuanced approach. We need to work with our government, its critical, to support them to understand this on how you stimulate and deploy new technologies in an ethical way and at a pace to achieve global advantage.
Scott Steedman CBE, Director-General, Standards
This report confirms that Britain is a powerhouse of ideas and innovation in AI, well supported by government and the financial sector. To realize the potentially enormous economic and social benefits of AI in the future, we will also need technological and regulatory measures to ensure that AI remains safe and beneficial, and I am pleased to see that Britain leads in this kind of thinking.
The ability to take a start up and grow it to a company that is not just consuming a large amount of investment but is producing a large amount of value is key.
“It’s important that the UK really focuses on Language Technology as a huge driver for economic value in this coming decade”.
Brexit has cut off a supply of graduate students, there is a need for mobility to attract the right sort of skills.
Prof. Stuart Russell, British computer scientist and founder of the Center for Human-Compatible Artificial Intelligence, UC Berkeley
AI startups are a dream for investors, because the technology can be applied to many use-cases, and it’s not domestic technology and you can run it a particular use case in the UK and pick it up with adaptations to take it somewhere.
Of course there will be regulation as it will be touching consumers. But before, regulation we have standards. Regulation is built on the standards of what we are doing.
This is all part of the broad stream of support the AI sector needs.
“In relation to AI, so far we’re operating at the level of general principles, we need to refine these and apply them to the facts”.
- Charles Kerrigan, Partner, CMS