AI Integral to Our Economy & Society, says DCMS Secretary of State

Speaking yesterday at the official opening of the London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA), a new center dedicated to UK cyber-innovation based in East London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Matt Hancock, secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, discussed the growth of AI and its impact on the UK economy and society.

“What makes AI so revolutionary is the fact that it learns itself and gets better every single day,” he said. “Just as AI is adapting, our economy and society is adapting too, and it must adapt so we can make the most of this seismic change.”

Ultimately, he added, all other significant advances in the human condition have been led by improvements in knowledge and collective intelligence, “and this one is no different, except that that intelligence is not just in the connection of human minds.

“Whether it’s improving travel, making banking easier, making government work better or helping people to live longer, AI is already integral to our economy and society.”

The UK is recognized as one of the leading nations in the development and ethical use of AI, Hancock explained, but “we need to keep looking forward and we can only say that we’ve really succeeded if we tackle the long-term issues that are shaping the challenges that we must overcome in order to stay in the lead.”

A key part of that is transforming the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of a number of diseases, and “making sure that the data is both secure and held in a way that enhances privacy is mission critical to the challenge in the use of health data for the better: As AI and the data that underpins it becomes more sophisticated, there are huge opportunities to make the impossible possible and to save lives.”

AI will transform lives like never before, Hancock concluded, and we want to transform society for the better and for it to be designed and developed in the UK.

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