CIPR #AIinPR panel welcomes Government’s £1bn AI sector deal

The CIPR's Artificial Intelligence (AI) panel has welcomed today’s announcement of the long-awaited AI sector deal, commending its focus on ethics, knowledge, and skills.

The deal  – announced today by Business Secretary Greg Clark and Digital Secretary Matt Hancock – secures up to £1bn of investment from Government and industry to make the UK a global leader in developing ethical and innovative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

This new sector deal aims to address one of the four Grand Challenges of the government’s Industrial Strategy – which sets out a long-term plan to boost the nation's productivity – and puts the UK at the forefront of the AI and data revolution, ensuring the social and economic benefits of this technology are felt across the whole country.

As part of the deal, and to ensure AI developments in Britain are conducted to the highest ethical standards, a £9m Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation will be established to address some of the key challenges posed by the adoption of AI. This new Centre will also advise on the measures needed to enable and ensure safe, ethical and innovative uses of data-driven technologies, while helping protect consumers.

Knowledge and skills
There is also a significant focus on developing the UK’s AI skills with investment in training for 8,000 specialist computer science teachers and funding for 1,000 new AI PhD places by 2025, as well as a commitment to develop a prestigious global fellowship programme to attract and retain the best research talent in AI to the UK.

This recognises that increasing AI adoption is not simply a technology problem, but one of education and training too, and will require a holistic approach that covers both to help realise the full commercial and economic benefits of this technology.

Stephen Waddington Chart.PR, Hon FCIPR, Chief Engagement Officer at Ketchum, Visiting Professor at Newcastle University
We welcome today’s announcement of the AI sector deal which commits significant new support for the advancement and adoption of AI in the UK. The deal places ethics at the heart of the country’s AI strategy, in line with our previous calls for government to claim a leadership position in education, investment and the development of AI.

AI opens up countless new opportunities and will enable us to work smarter and more efficiently by boosting productivity as the commercial use of these technologies becomes the norm. The CIPR's #AIinPR panel has found that while the current use of artificial intelligence in PR is limited, it is likely to have a greater impact over time as it enables the elimination of repetitive, administrative roles and automation of simple tasks and workflows.
Stephen Waddington Chart.PR, Hon FCIPR, Chief Engagement Officer at Ketchum, Visiting Professor at Newcastle University

The European Commission also announced its AI strategy yesterday. It’s proposing a three-pronged approach to increase public and private investment in AI, prepare for socio-economic changes, and ensure an appropriate ethical and legal framework. It called for increased investment of at least €20 billion between now and the end of 2020 in AI research and innovation.

Notes to editors

Notes to editors

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).