back to article UK puts £200m on table for dynamic purchasing system to supply public sector with AI

The UK government hopes to set up a dynamic purchasing system to help Blighty's public sector buy artificial intelligence services, with an estimated £200m on the table over four years. According to a tender notice, the whole shebang, once live, will give the public sector the opportunity to buy an extensive range of AI …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the betting

    the Contract goes to a Net Curtain retailing company set up last year for £100 & owned by a mate of a Cabinet Minister, and the company then fails to deliver on it.

    1. RM Myers
      Happy

      Re: What's the betting

      The "fails to deliver part" is a no brainer. The other parts - not so much. I could just as easily see it being set up by a former Cabinet Minister (no mate needed), or a large political donor, or even the "paramour" of a Cabinet Minister. And can we really leave out cousins, children, parents, and other relatives? I think not!

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: What's the betting

      The problem is the members of this government suffer from rampant itchy backs, so they need to indulge in some “mutual back-scratching” with friends and relatives

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/aug/07/its-taken-just-12-months-for-boris-johnson-to-create-a-government-of-sleaze

    3. N2

      Re: What's the betting

      Mais oui,

      The stringent requirements to deliver too late, too little and of course be well over budget, again.

      Turd icon, because it smells.

  2. USER100
    Stop

    hype

    "[AI] is more profound than fire or electricity" - Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet. His comment could have come just as easily from the CEO of Reynholm Industries.

    It's just a load of hype that idiot MPs are completely taken in by. Another splurge of money on nothing much at all. Of course AI has its place, but when the government start seeing it as TBTSSB it ends up as another public sector IT money pit.

    Consultants, corrupt MPs and lawyers are the only beneficiaries I can see from this.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: hype

      ElementaryFaculty my dear Watson

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Hype or The Best Thing Since Slice Bread

      It's just a load of hype that idiot MPs are completely taken in by. Another splurge of money on nothing much at all. .... Consultants, corrupt MPs and lawyers are the only beneficiaries I can see from this. .... USER100

      MPs would be complete idiots to be taken in by those views, USER100.

      And there may be an extremely valid worry and even practically real fear that AI will garner increased benefits from/for more than just the targeting and compromising/outing into the light with critical catastrophically damaging exposure of deep and dark webbed practices of consultants, corrupt MPs and lawyers, ..... although to imagine throwing any amount of money at the emerging expanding problem will help to stop the inevitable, rather than just sort of kick the can of worms further on down the road and into the future as opposed to have to presently deal/do deals with it, in whatever phorms it chooses to morph into in order to be more effective and/or most deadly, is surely nonsensical, but an old established and usually quite successful trick well used for the generation of false hope in a dire emergency. However, things may be far from normal so goodness knows what the future brings.

      Indeed, there may be great parallels to observe in the paths not dissimilarly taken by AI and viruses like COVID-19 with the effects and results from both being of an extremely similar nature.

      1. Cliff Thorburn

        Re: Hype or The Best Thing Since Slice Bread

        AI could always/already has been both tested and utilised as a hound hunting both for spread betting, elite great gamesplaying running man style antics running the course over GBNI as a anything goes playground could IT not?

        Simply Reds pulling the strings in a CO V ID 19 ‘Moneys too tight to mention’ cant get another Brexit extension bus hurtling at Speed over the proberbial Cliff Thorburn well and truly snookered cliffs of DO V ER and everyone everywhere blissfully behind the masks of optimism populism and patriotism sadly the aforementioned offering little protection from the V ir us of a failed capitalist impractical ponzi scheme hidden beneath the ever decreasing Russian Dolls whenever unearthed in a whack a mole fashion to oversaturated exchange traded funds?

        What promises on the side of that bus will arrive at the destination, or be exposed as catastrophic floundering lies will create the latest multimedia press propaganda in the latest and greatest hoodwink cloak and dagger danesgold future dramatics without a doubt ...

  3. grizewald
    FAIL

    I need help to decipher this article!

    Maybe my wetware needs some (non-existent) AI help, but I have a few problems comprehending the buzzwords in this article.

    What on earth is "a dynamic purchasing system"?

    Why do organisations who spend taxpayer money need an "opportunity to purchase" something as ill defined as "AI"? (Which doesn't actually exist in any form which I'd apply the term to.)

    Furthermore, what the hell do they need an AI for even if it did exist?

    Why does providing them with this "opportunity" require blowing £200 million on something which sounds like a buzzword bingo invention?

    Why can't these rich public organs access "a wide range of competition" (whatever that means) without a "dynamic purchasing system"?

    Where did all this money to burn suddenly come from? Isn't the country broke?

    I might not live in Blighty any more, but I don't seem to remember my skills in my mother tongue diminishing to such a extent that I can't understand an El Reg article any more.

    Do I have early onset Alzheimer's disease? Or is my uncontrollable aversion to bullshit playing up again?

    Please help!

    Confused of Stockholm.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: I need help to decipher this article!

      > What on earth is "a dynamic purchasing system"?

      I've added it to the article. It's standard UK govt jargon for an electronic purchasing system that new suppliers can join at any time. That's the dynamic part.

      > what the hell do they need an AI for even if it did exist?

      There are loads of applications machine learning can be used in. Spotting patterns in road traffic, optimizing emergency service shifts, predicting supply and demand. YMMV. You'd hope there is human oversight involved so the computers don't run amok.

      > Isn't the country broke?

      No. The UK is still in the top 10 richest countries by GDP.

      C.

    2. N2
      Trollface

      Re: I need help to decipher this article!

      What on earth is "a dynamic purchasing system"?

      One that buys from the highest seller?

  4. Nifty Silver badge

    Just what we need

    An AI system in charge of purchasing more AI kit.

  5. captain_ken

    Gcloud anyone?

    This already exists, it’s called gcloud, they just need to add an ai category. Am I missing something?

  6. hoola Silver badge

    AI?

    AI or Artificial Intelligence is just a set of complex rules given a funky name to make it appeal to politicians and boardrooms. It is not intelligent or intelligence in any form yet is constantly sold as the next big thing that will solve all of mankind's problems. If AI really was intelligent then making self-driving cars would not be so difficult because, I guess they could "learn" proactively without having to have a human constantly check if the decision it made according to it's ruleset was correct.

    This is just the same as "Cloud", another name for a virtual machine and some "software defined stuff" whether it be running in yours or someone else's data centre.

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    TITSUP before even launched? Now that's a real bad start indeed which is bound to be exploited

    It appears that government[s] just don't get this new fangled and entangling AI thing, which more than just a few who might definitely know otherwise, realise is so easily capable of being, and therefore is surely going to be, extremely disruptive and even mind-bindingly destructive, for they (government[s]) appear to think [although obviously they are not thinking deeper nor clearly far enough] that principals would be as registered players in any of their existing systems/current databases.

    As a novel supplier, registering access for the RM6200 Artificial Intelligence Dynamic Purchasing System Agreement would appear to be severely unsuitably limited and aimed at known entities?

    Please note that to register you must have a valid DUNS number (as provided by Dun and Bradstreet) for the organisation which you are registering, who will be entering into a contract if invited to do so. ..... Artificial Intelligence Reference number: RM6200

    1. Cliff Thorburn

      Re: TITSUP before even launched? Now that's a real bad start indeed which is bound to be exploited

      No merit down that well trodden path amFM, been there, seen it, DUN that ;0)

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: TITSUP before even launched? Now that's a real bad start indeed which is bound to be exploited

        Quite so, CT. No less than an open and shut case of pearls before swine. methinks.

        1. Cliff Thorburn

          Re: TITSUP before even launched? Now that's a real bad start indeed which is bound to be exploited

          Amazing really how good Racehorse becomes Swine, all due to resistence and resilience to a populist propaganda agenda.

          “Man will destroy himself through greed, not my greed”, a message from the gods, perhaps a stalk warning to a road to nowhere but certain inevitable failure based on a compulsive capitalist struggling structure in East vs West, which is best ongoing societal new world disorder.

          Any winners in such well prophesied great game?

          https://youtu.be/VrERLeFseDA

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