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Masters courses in Artificial Intelligence to be launched at UK universities

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Graduates are to be given the chance to become qualified experts in artificial intelligence (AI) through a new set of masters courses and work-based placements.

The Government has announced up to 200 AI Masters places will be made available at UK universities, with support from high-profile UK tech firms including Deepmind and BAE Systems.

Some 1,000 PhD places at 16 dedicated UK Research and Innovation AI Centres for Doctoral Training will also be made available over five years as part of the scheme.

The package is part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy, which is being supported by up to £110 million of government investment.

Artificial intelligence is considered one of the most important technologies of the future, already in use powering virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, and is expected to be a key part of systems used to power driverless cars and robotics.

Business secretary Greg Clark said of the new scheme: “The UK has long been a nation of innovators.

“This AI skills and talent investment will help nurture leading UK and international talent to ensure we retain our world-beating reputation in research and development.

“Artificial intelligence has great potential to drive up productivity and enhance every industry throughout our economy, from more effective disease diagnosis to building smart homes.

“Today’s announcement is our modern Industrial Strategy in action, investing in skills and talent to drive high skilled jobs, growth and productivity across the UK.”

The AI Masters places will be available for the first time from September this year.

Digital secretary Jeremy Wright said: “The UK is not only the birthplace to the father of artificial intelligence, Alan Turing, but we are leading the way on work to ensure AI innovation has ethics at its core.

“We want to keep up this momentum and cement our reputation as pioneers in AI.

“Working with world class academic institutions and industry we will be able to train the next generation of top-tier AI talent and maintain the UK’s reputation as a trailblazer in emerging technologies.”