London’s mayor is assembling plans to make the city the next big AI hub

Mar 22, 2018 ·

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London’s thriving tech scene has long been top of mind for mayor Sadiq Khan. Since taking office in 2016, Khan backed a tech fund that created 1,000 jobs and launched a TechInvest program to get artificial-intelligence startups to bid for cash. He also lends himself to opening huge tech events; at one such event, Khan said he wanted to turn London into a "world-leading smart city."

Now it looks like Khan is formally trying to fostering an AI industry in Britain’s capital by hiring a specialist AI research house, CognitionX. The firm will conduct an investigation that includes mapping London’s AI supplier base, identifying opportunities presented by AI, assessing how the city will attract and retain talent, and outlining what needs to be done to remove onerous barriers and support growth. After also benchmarking London’s AI potential against select international-city competitors, CognitionX will develop an action plan for the mayor that is expected to help shape local government policy around embedding AI more into infrastructure and industry, and around developing AI jobs and resources in London.

"London has a tremendous opportunity to build a world-class AI hub which serves a range of industries—from health care to finance to law—and which also helps build the AI-driven economy of the future in a way that works for all Londoners," Khan told Quartz in a statement.

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