Data Science Investment Counter —Funding raised by UK data science companies in 2018.
£ 5.640 Million

UK invests £18.5m to boost diversity in AI

The UK government has announced an investment of up to £18.5 million to support diversity in artificial intelligence (AI) and data science roles.

Of these funds, £13.5 million will be poured in 1000 scholarships for people from underrepresented groups as well as funding 2500 artificial intelligence and data science conversion degrees.

The remaining £5 million government fund will go towards driving innovation in adult online learning by setting up the Adult Learning Technology Innovation Fund, which will be launched in partnership with innovation foundation Nesta.

Commenting on the news, the Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright said: “The UK has a long standing reputation for innovation, world-leading academic institutions and a business friendly environment and everyone, regardless of their background, should have the opportunity to build a successful career in our world-leading tech sector.

“Through these new AI and Data Conversion courses and our modern Industrial Strategy, we are committed to working with the tech sector and academia to develop and maintain the best AI workforce in the world.”

According to Tech Nation statistics published in 2018, only 19 per cent of UK tech workforce is women.

“We’ve got a talent pipeline that is not diverse in gender – and that is so important, especially given the bias issues.” University of Southampton professor Wendy Hall said at the CogX event in London on 10 June.

“We are all biased anyway, but if you have a [limited] subset of society building the algorithms, that is not good for society – and we absolutely have to make that part of the ethical framework for AI,” she added.

The new investment, which is part of the broader government plan of investing £780 million to support tech and innovation in the country, will help create a more diverse future workforce, including the fair and accurate development of algorithms to tackle some of the greatest social challenges of our time.

“UK firms continue to build on our heritage as the home of Artificial Intelligence,” said Business Secretary Greg Clark, “and through our modern Industrial Strategy we’re investing in that strength to ensure we remain world-leaders in the field and at the very forefront of the latest technologies.”

Image via PXhere and Pixabay.


Co-working space and blog dedicated to all things data science.

Subscribe to our newsletter