Cisco has announced a major investment into the UK's AI scene. The networking giant has revealed a $100m (£77m) commitment that includes a new partnership with University College London (UCL) aimed at creating one of the world's largest AI research centres. The facility will house between 200 and 250 masters students and researchers looking to take on some of the biggest AI industry challenges, as well as continue Cisco's 30-year relationship with UCL. "It's wonderful to renew our partnership with Cisco and work together to upskill the UK in machine learning and artificial intelligence," said UCL provost Professor Michael Arthur. "I'm particularly looking forward to opening the new AI Centre in the coming months to position us as a sector leader in computer science."
Last month, two parliamentary reports on the involvement of the British intelligence services in torture and rendition were released last week. What has been hypothesized by several journalists is now confirmed: that British functionaries--to include soldiers, civil servants and intelligence officers with MI5 and MI6--knew about and participated in a vast array of human rights abuses committed during the capture and interrogation of terrorism suspects. The Guardian's Peter Beaumont writes with great contempt for what has transpired since 2001, "[A]s it is now quite clear, it was all a bloody lie. The answers given to journalists at the Observer over the years, as well as colleagues at The Guardian and those at other news organisations, as they investigated these allegations, were rotten with untruth and evasion." Governments' lying to their citizens about covert wars is hardly new, nor is the pervasive use of kidnapping of terrorism suspects by the CIA to include its many "black sites."
The European Commission, an executive of the European Union, has announced it will be more than doubling its investments in artificial intelligence (AI). The commission will increase spending on AI by 70%, reaching €1.5bn (US$1.81bn) by 2020, in a bid to compete with Asia and the US, which are both investing at least three time as much.
Let's talk real for a second: AI has become the buzzword of pretty much every domain, and we're sure we're not the only ones who have noticed. AI is apparently going to revolutionise such diverse industries as fashion and recruitment, and just last week the UK and French governments announced a joint work force on AI between the Alan Turing Institute and the DATAIA. For it's part, cybersecurity is hardly immune to the allure of AI, with every vendor in the industry currently waxing lyrical about the integration of AI into their solution. Is there a little bit of AI for AI's sake at play here? Don't get us wrong, there are many benefits to AI in cybersecurity.
Drones and other unmanned systems are to be tested on Salisbury Plain by the British military, to tackle the costly and often dangerous task of delivering essential supplies to frontline troops. One such company is Animal Dynamics, a spinout from Oxford University. The startup has turned to recent advances in computational analysis to help it learn from nature and challenge engineering conventions. By tapping into design lessons from millions of years of evolution, Animal Dynamics is producing machines that mirror the mechanics of animals to help them perform better and move more efficiently. The Financial Times reports that Stork, the firm's autonomous paraglider, is one of five unmanned transport concepts chosen by the British government's Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory for assessment during a four-week military exercise on Salisbury Plain this November.
Donald Trump wants Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit the US this autumn. The two men met at the beginning of this week in Finland, and despite some significant fall-out, planning is under way for a second get-together. Moscow hasn't reacted publicly yet to the invitation. "OK... that's going to be special," laughed US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats when told about it. Well, the US intelligence services were at the centre of the aforementioned fall-out, after the president seemed to reject their view on Russian meddling in the 2016 US election and side with Moscow instead.
Global telecoms tech firm Cisco has announced it will be investing $100m (£76.8m) Backed by Prime Minister Theresa May and digital secretary Jeremy Wright to run in tandem to the government's industrial strategy, Cisco will partner with University College London (UCL) to open one of the world's largest research centres for AI. The centre will become a hub for addressing ways to integrate AI into British industry by housing more than 200 UCL academics and researchers, as well as developing up and coming AI talent. Announced this morning at Downing Street, May called the investment a "vote of confidence" in the government's industrial strategy. "We believe that the UK's expertise in AI and its commitment to making sure future innovators have the right digital skills will help ensure the nation's citizens are well-positioned to capture the opportunity ahead," said Chuck Robbins, Cisco's chairman and chief executive.
The paper was introduced by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek: "Scientists in the field of AI should come to Germany, and working conditions should also be made as attractive as possible for the next generation. Additional professorships for AI should be established with the countries. In addition, new ways of promoting research are being pursued: an agency for leap innovations should be founded, which will also take on the subject of artificial intelligence." Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier: "Artificial intelligence is not just any innovation – it is a basic innovation that will change and improve our economy and our lives as a whole.
Deployed wisely, AI holds the promise of addressing some of the world's most intractable challenges. But the significance of its positive impact is mirrored by its likely destabilising effects on some aspects of economic and social life. Our paper explores the opportunities and ethical challenges that come with AI and focuses on how Europe can sharpen its competitive edge vis-à-vis other leading economies, such as the United States and China.