GOOD NEWS IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO GET SICK OR OLD, the UK government has thrust millions of quids of investment into the development of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and healthcare technology.
We've all seen Demon Seed, well some of us have, and we know that some people are worried about robots and stuff. But not so repeated investor the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which has just announced two programme grants worth around ££17.3m.
Bad news is always best getting early, so here we will point out that the money may lead to robots who might take a person's job. However, the money will also be used to develop robots that will go into dangerous places like nuclear facilities.
"For several decades, EPSRC has been at the forefront of supporting the UK's research, training and innovation in robotics, automation and artificial intelligence systems, and has been instrumental in fostering interdisciplinary partnerships between academics, industry, government and other parties," said Professor Philip Nelson, chief executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
"Throughout the world, however, from the United States to South Korea, China to Japan, governments are investing billions of dollars into these new technologies. We are faring very well against this global competition, and we should not slow the momentum.
"These investments are vital for continuing the pipeline that transforms research into products and services."
In truth, it is probably all good news. Some of the money will go to Imperial College London and towards micro-robots for surgery purposes, and some will go to the University of Manchester. Manchester will take on the hazardous environments work and build the robots that will go into the areas where we would rather not. As far as the government stands, this is most excellent news.
"Britain has a proud history of digital innovation - from the earliest days of computing to Sir Tim Berners-Lee's development of the World Wide Web. We are already pioneers in robotics and artificial intelligence and our Digital Strategy will build on our strengths to make sure UK-based scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs continue to be at the forefront," said Culture Secretary Karen Bradley.
"Backing our thriving digital economy to expand and grow, by putting the best foundations in place to develop new technology, is a vital part of this Government's plan to build a modern, dynamic and global trading nation."
The money has been released as part of the government's Digital Strategy, and there are a load of universities getting some cash. The government will also carry out a review into the opportunities and benefits and that kind of stuff and spend a few months deciding what anyone close to the industry would tell them in minutes.
Still, as long as it keeps them off the Digital Economy Bill, its all good. µ
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