The Government plans to invest close to £1 billion to create a new supercomputer in a bid to help UK developers compete on the global market.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said that he has set aside the money to build an exascale supercomputer and establish a new AI Research Resource, with the first funds being available this year.
“Because AI needs computing horsepower, I today commit around £900 million of funding to implement the recommendations in the independent Future Of Compute Review for an exascale supercomputer,” he told MPs on Wednesday.
“So today we publish a quantum strategy which will set our vision to be a world-leading quantum-enabled economy by 2033 with a research and innovation programme totalling £2.5 billion.”
Mr Hunt also announced a new annual £1 million price for the person or the team in the UK that does the most to further AI research.
“The world’s first stored-programme computer was built at the University of Manchester in 1948, and was known as the ‘Manchester baby’,” Mr Hunt said.
“75 years on, the baby has grown up, so I will call this new national AI award ‘the Manchester Prize’ in its honour.”
The Government said that at present the UK’s most powerful computer ranks just 28th in the world.