UK Government


Amazon's Alexa will deliver NHS medical advice in the UK

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The UK's National Health Service (NHS) has announced what it claims is a world first: a partnership with Amazon's Alexa to offer health advice from the NHS website. Britons who ask Alexa basic health questions like "Alexa, how do I treat a migraine?" The partnership does not add significantly to Alexa's skill-set, but it is an interesting step for the NHS. The UK's Department of Health (DoH) says it hopes the move will reduce the pressure on health professionals in the country, giving people a new way to access reliable medical advice. It will also benefit individuals with disabilities, like sight impairments, who may find it difficult to use computers or smartphones to find the same information.


Britain's £50 Note Will Honor Computing Pioneer Alan Turing

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"The strength of the shortlist is testament to the U.K.'s incredible scientific contribution," Sarah John, the Bank of England's chief cashier, said in a statement. The bank plans to put the new note into circulation by the end of 2021. Bank of England bills feature Queen Elizabeth's face on one side, and a notable figure from British history on the other. Scientists previously honored in this way include Newton, Darwin and the electrical pioneer Michael Faraday. The current £50 features James Watt, a key figure in the development of the steam engine, and Matthew Boulton, the industrialist who backed him.


Alan Turing, Computing Genius And WWII Hero, To Be On U.K.'s New 50-Pound Note

NPR Technology

The Bank of England's new 50-pound note will feature mathematician Alan Turing, honoring the code-breaker who helped lay the foundation for computer science. The Bank of England's new 50-pound note will feature mathematician Alan Turing, honoring the code-breaker who helped lay the foundation for computer science. Alan Turing, the father of computer science and artificial intelligence who broke Adolf Hitler's Enigma code system in World War II -- but who died an outcast because of his homosexuality -- will be featured on the Bank of England's new 50-pound note. The new note will be printed on polymer and will bear a 1951 photo of Turing, the bank announced Monday. It's expected to enter circulation by the end of 2021.


Bank of England picks gay World War II code-breaker Alan Turing for new £50 bank note

The Japan Times

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Mathematician Alan Turing, whose cracking of a Nazi code helped the Allies to win World War II but who committed suicide after being convicted for homosexuality, will appear on the Bank of England's new £50 banknote, the central bank said Monday. "As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as war hero, Alan Turing's contributions were far-ranging and path-breaking," BoE Gov. Mark Carney, who took the final decision on the character selection, said. "Turing is a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand." Turing's electro-mechanical machine, a forerunner of modern computers, unraveled the Enigma code used by Nazi Germany and helped give the Allies an advantage in the naval struggle for control of the Atlantic. His work at Bletchley Park, Britain's wartime code-breaking center, was credited with shortening the war and saving many thousands of lives.


Alan Turing, codebreaker and mathematician, to be face of Britain's new 50 pound note

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, speaks in front of the concept design for the new Bank of England fifty pound banknote, featuring mathematician and scientist Alan Turing, during the presentation at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, north-west England on July 15, 2019. Alan Turing, a mathematician and codebreaker who deciphered German World War II messages, will appear on Britain's new 50 pound note. The Bank of England made the announcement Monday that Turing, who died in 1954, would appear on the currency and some of his work would also adorn the note. The action continues the posthumous accolades for the scientist, who after the war was charged with gross indecency after admitting to having a homosexual relationship, which was illegal at the time in Britain. To avoid imprisonment, he chose chemical castration with female hormones.


NHS partners with Amazon to offer health advice via Alexa

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In a world-first, Amazon has partnered with the UK's health service, the NHS. From this week, its voice-controlled device, Alexa, will give out health advice, and answer common questions such as'Alexa, how do I treat a migraine?' and'Alexa, what are the symptoms of chickenpox?' In response to health-related queries, Alexa will now search the NHS Choices website for health information (and there you were thinking Amazon was all about Prime Day deals). The aim is to ease pressure on the NHS and help those who can't easily access information on the internet – such as the elderly or blind people. Will this partnership with Amazon really end up easing pressure on the health service, or will it lead to data protection issues and misdiagnoses? As we've previously explored, the use of voice interfaces is one of the fastest growing web design trends in recent years, but so far the news has been met with concerns over the appropriateness of using Alexa to deliver this kind of important and sensitive information.


NHS teams up with Amazon to bring Alexa to patients

The Guardian

The NHS has teamed up with Amazon to allow elderly people, blind people and other patients who cannot easily search for health advice on the internet to access the information through the AI-powered voice assistant Alexa. The health service hopes patients asking Alexa for health advice will ease pressure on the NHS, with Amazon's algorithm using information from the NHS website to provide answers to questions such as: "Alexa, how do I treat a migraine?"; 'Alexa, what are the symptoms of flu?'; and "Alexa what are the symptoms of chickenpox?" The Department of Health (DoH) said it would empower patients and hopefully reduce the pressure on the NHS by providing reliable information on common illnesses. The health secretary, Matt Hancock, said: "Technology like this is a great example of how people can access reliable, world-leading NHS advice from the comfort of their home, reducing the pressure on our hardworking GPs and pharmacists."


Amazon Alexa offering NHS health advice

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People will be able to get expert health advice using Amazon Alexa devices under a partnership with the NHS, the government has announced. From this week, the voice-assisted technology is automatically searching the NHS Choices website when UK users ask for health-related advice. Previously the device provided information from a range of sources. The Department of Health in England said it could provide valuable support and even reduce demand on the NHS. The partnership was first announced last year and now talks are under way with other companies, including Microsoft, to set up similar arrangements.


AI system to end 'leaves on the line' by predicting buildups before they delay trains

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Trains delayed by'leaves on the line' might soon be a thing of the past as an AI system is trialled to predict build ups on the line and warn of encroaching plants. The artificial intelligence studies footage of plants near the line taken from trains and attempts to spot when leaves change colour, indicating that they might fall. It can also warn of fallen trees and when vegetation growth might soon obstruct the path of trains and lead to delays. The project is one of 24 high-tech schemes that have today been funded a total of £7.8 million ($9.9 million) by the UK government to improve the nation's railways. Trains delayed by'leaves on the line' might soon be a thing of the past as an AI system is trialled to predict build ups on the line and warn of encroaching plants (stock image) Slippery rails -- commonly referred to as'leaves on the line' -- result when build ups on the track led to trains not being able to grip the rails properly.


UK invests £18.5m to boost diversity in artificial intelligence

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The government has announced an investment of up to £18.5m to support efforts to enhance diversity in artificial intelligence (AI) and data science roles. Part of a wider plan to upskill the UK workforce as part of the AI Sector Deal to position the country as a leader in use of the technology, £13.5m of the total funding will go towards up to 2,500 AI and data science conversion courses for professionals who have degrees in other disciplines, as well as 1,000 scholarships. The programmes will aim to support applications from professionals returning from a career break and looking to retrain, as well as under-represented groups in the digital workforce, including women and those from minority ethnic or lower socio-economic backgrounds. Around £5m will be invested into the Adult Learning Technology Innovation Fund, to be launched in partnership with innovation foundation Nesta, which will seek to encourage companies to use AI and automation to improve online learning platforms aimed at helping adults retrain. "The UK has a long-standing reputation for innovation, world-leading academic institutions and a business-friendly environment. Everyone, regardless of their background, should have the opportunity to build a successful career in our world-leading tech sector," said digital secretary Jeremy Wright.