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Government unveils £3.75m funding for AI decarbonisation projects

AI decarbonisation
Image credit: Mumemories / Shutterstock

The government has committed just under £4m in funding to projects using artificial intelligence (AI) for decarbonisation.

Announced on Tuesday, the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) has identified decarbonisation as a key area to benefit from the advancement of AI technology.

DSIT has selected 12 green AI initiatives to receive a share of £1m. Among them are Secqai, a London-based startup developing power-efficient AI; List.io, a company working on agricultural robotics systems; and Open Climate Fix, which is developing an AI system to support the connection of solar electricity to the energy grid.

A further £2.25m in government funding has been announced for the AI for Decarbonisation grant scheme that encourages innovative firms to submit proposals for sustainable AI projects. This has brought the total funding for AI decarbonisation to £3.75m.

The government has repeatedly stated its ambition to lead in the AI sector. Earlier this year, it committed £100m to an AI taskforce to “accelerate” the industry.

The regulation of AI remains a concern, however, as the government continues to draw criticism for its attempts to manage the sector.

DSIT published its AI regulatory white paper in March, offering an early sign of the government’s approach.

The plan has been described by the opposition as “insufficient”, with Labour MP Darren Jones telling UKTN last month that UK regulators were not currently equipped to handle the task they are being given.

The white paper was further criticised in a report by the Ada Lovelace Institute, which claimed it contained “significant gaps” in areas such as recruitment, policing and parts of the private sector.

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