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UK to spend $130M on AI chips amid scramble to buy up computing power

Amidst a global scarcity and scramble for computing capacity, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak plans to spend $100 million to purchase thousands of computer processors to boost artificial intelligence.

As part of Sunak’s strategy to turn the nation into an AI tech center, The Telegraph reported on August 20 that the UK hopes to establish an “AI Research Resource” by the middle of 2024.

The UK Research and Innovation organization, which is driving the initiative and is apparently obtaining chips from manufacturers NVIDIA, Intel, and AMD, is reportedly close to placing an order for 5,000 NVIDIA graphic processing units (GPUs).

Although $130 million has been set aside for the project, it is allegedly believed that this amount falls short of Sunak’s aim for an AI hub. As a result, government representatives may push for further money at an upcoming conference on AI safety in November. It comes in response to a recent study that found many businesses are having trouble using AI owing to a lack of funding and technical challenges.

An independent assessment of the nation’s AI computing capabilities in March found that investment in the field is “seriously lagging” behind those of its foreign competitors in the US 

and EU.

A group advised the U.K. to make at least 3,000 high-quality processors readily available to satisfy immediate requirements at a time when fewer than 1,000 NVIDIA chips were available for academics to train AI models.

According to S&P Global’s global AI trend study published on August 16, many companies said they were not ready to embrace AI owing to a lack of processing capacity, problems with data management, and security issues.

The ability to handle AI workloads will be a decisive factor for who will dominate in the field, according to S&P Senior Research Analyst Nick Patience, even if AI is still in its infancy.


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