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London named top AI hub as tech leaders call for regulation

London AI
Image credit: Sergii Figurnyi / Shutterstock

London has been named the most supportive hub for developing AI as tech leaders call for increased regulation, new research has found.

In a survey of international business leaders conducted by London & Partners, 77% of respondents said they consider London a more supportive hub for AI development than other major cities.

The research found that nearly half (45%) of respondents said government incentives and AI policy contributed to the UK capital’s appeal.

Other factors commonly cited were location as a place to do business, infrastructure and scalability.

“London is a world-leading centre for technology and talent, and fast becoming one of the most important centres for AI businesses globally,” said Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

“The world’s leading players in the sector are investing in international headquarters across our city. These AI hubs will bring industry experts together to innovate and collaborate and provide major opportunities for Londoners to access the jobs and opportunities of the future.”

Among the international firms establishing AI hubs in London are Microsoft, Scale AI and CoreWeave.

Separate research from IT consultancy Zartis found that while UK tech executives were largely supportive of existing state supervision of AI, 72% were calling for even more.

The survey of 100 UK tech executives found overwhelming support for greater government oversight regarding AI technology.

The research found positivity regarding the current progress of AI regulation, however, the respondents were more split on how confident they were that future policy decisions would continue to encourage innovation.

Among those surveyed, 43% said they believe upcoming regulations will delay or prevent innovation, with the same figure applying to those who said they believe it will encourage innovation.

“The dichotomy we’re seeing in response to AI regulation is fascinating,” said Zartis head of AI strategy Michal Szymczak.

“On the one hand, we are generally satisfied with the direction in which AI regulation is going globally. On the other, we have a sizeable portion of executives claiming both existing and upcoming regulations may harm innovation.”

An AI regulation bill that started in the House of Lords has entered the third reading stage, however, the current general election means the bill will be unable to enter parliament until the next government is formed.

Read more: Businesses are embracing AI more than general public, research suggests  

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