UK to spend $130M on AI chips

Amidst a global shortage and scramble for computing capacity, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak plans to spend $100 million to purchase thousands of computer chips to boost artificial intelligence.

As part of Sunak’s strategy to turn the nation into an AI tech center, the UK hopes to establish a “AI Research Resource” by the middle of 2024.

The UK Research and Innovation organisation, which is leading the initiative and is apparently sourcing chips from manufacturers NVIDIA, Intel, and AMD, is reportedly close to placing an order for 5,000 NVIDIA graphic processing units (GPUs).

Although $130 million has been set aside for the project, it is allegedly believed that this amount falls short of Sunak’s aim for an AI hub. As a result, government representatives may push for further money at an upcoming summit on AI safety in November.

It comes in response to a recent report claiming that many businesses are finding it difficult to implement AI due to a lack of funding and technical obstacles.

Investment in the field is “seriously lagging” behind foreign competitors in the United States and European Union, according to a March independent assessment of the nation’s AI computing capabilities.

A panel advised the U.K. make at least 3,000 high-quality chips readily available to satisfy immediate needs at a time when fewer than 1,000 NVIDIA chips were available for academics to train AI models.

According to S&P Global’s global AI trend report published on August 16, many companies said they were not ready to embrace AI owing to a lack of processing capacity, problems with data management, and security issues.

The ability to support AI workloads will be a deciding factor for who will dominate in the field, according to S&P Senior Research Analyst Nick Patience, even if AI is still in its infancy.

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