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UK and France to join forces on artificial intelligence

Matt Hancock

The UK and France have agreed to join forces in a bid to promote deeper integration in the digital economy.

Both countries will collaborate and share knowledge on sectors including artificial intelligence, data, cybersecurity, digital government and skills.

As part of the agreement, experts from the UK and France will share insights at an Anglo-French technology conference scheduled to take place later this year.

The announcement, made by culture secretary Matt Hancock, took place during the annual UK-France summit held this week at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst.

Both countries also reaffirmed their commitment and support for net neutrality – the principle which promotes a free and open internet.

Digital, culture, media and sport secretary Matt Hancock said: “The UK and France are strengthening ties in technology and innovation. I’m looking forward to leading a cutting-edge digital conference this year, which will see our world-leading experts in cybersecurity, digital skills, artificial intelligence, data and digital government share their talent and knowledge.

“Both countries benefit when our digital economies are strong and the event will deepen our bonds and foster cross-Channel collaboration between those at the forefront of modern technology.”

Julian David, CEO of techUK, commented on the announcement.

He said: “This event is a significant step towards greater collaboration between the British and French tech sectors. Both countries share similar opportunities and challenges as we build our leading digital economies through technologies like artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and cybersecurity.

“International platforms for collaboration, such as the one announced by Matt Hancock today, provide valuable cross-border perspectives on many of the social, legal and ethical questions that will be raised as we continue to innovate,” David noted.

Today’s announcement comes after the launch of the Anglo-French alliance, which will link Imperial College London and the French National Centre for Scientific Research in an attempt to strengthen relations in academic subjects underpinning AI.