The UK government has recently announced that £13m will be allocated to advance the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare. The funding will go towards a total of 22 projects that are taking place within the NHS and academic institutions throughout the UK.
The announcement coincides with the appointment of two leading experts to the panel of organisers for the world’s first major international summit on the safe use of AI, according to a recent government press release.
The event will take place this autumn and will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of Matt Clifford, CEO of Entrepreneur First, and Jonathan Black, Heywood Fellow at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford and former UK G7 and G20 Sherpa and Deputy National Security Adviser.
The NHS AI Lab has already been established to investigate the great potential for AI in making the healthcare system more efficient and effective. It aims to bring the best uses of AI to the forefront of NHS services, whilst at the same time protecting patients with regulation and guidelines.
Among the beneficiaries of the £13m funding will be the University College London’s Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences, and a £640,000 contribution to the University of Oxford’s research into a foundation AI model for clinical risk assessment and prediction. This will make it easier to predict and therefore potentially prevent or treat future health problems.
Technology Secretary, Michelle Donelan, said: “The UK has a proud history of demonstrating diplomatic leadership on the most important issues of the day and Matt and Jonathan’s experience and expertise means that they are perfectly placed to lay the groundwork ahead of talks this year on safe and responsible AI.”
She added: “We’re already a leading nation when it comes to artificial intelligence – and this summit will help cement our position as the home of safe innovation.”
“By leading on the international stage, we will improve lives at home. AI will revolutionise the way we live, including our healthcare system. That’s why we’re backing the UK’s fantastic innovators to save lives by boosting the frontline of our NHS and tackling the major health challenges of our time.”
Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, said: “Artificial intelligence will fundamentally alter every aspect of human life. As AI rapidly evolves, we need a global approach that seizes the opportunities that AI poses while grasping the challenges and minimising the risks.”
“No country will be untouched by AI, so with the support of our two expert representatives, the UK is proud to play a leadership role in the global effort to address the challenges and opportunities of AI.”
Other AI healthcare projects that are due to receive funding include the development of a semi-autonomous robotic arm that can remove tumours, and an external data validation of a trial into the treatment of chronic nerve pain that will be carried out by academics at the University of Sheffield.