back to article UK's AI fairy tale sets out on its yellow-brick roadmap

The UK's AI Council could not have picked a worse week to launch its roadmap. As the world's media was understandably obsessing with the US panto-cum-insurrection season, who would highlight its attempt to put this island nation, newly unshackled from the EU, on a path to a 10 per cent GDP boost from AI by 2030? Observers …

  1. Ben Tasker

    > The risk is its roadmap goes nowhere

    A cynic might suggest that far from being a risk, that's what some of the membership may want - public money poured into them to come up with "innovations", without actually facing the exposure of deploying stuff that will not, and can never, work nearly as well as billed. Money in, only talk out.

  2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    00AAA Licence to Thrill ... for Gold Standard Operations goes AI Knock Knocking on No10's Door.

    "The 'social licence' that AI enjoys so far is a precious commodity. Historic controversy over genetically modified food perhaps demonstrates the consequences when the trust between science and the wider public breaks down. It should also serve as a warning to AI developers that they should not take public acceptance and trust for granted,"

    Although this is not served as a warning, some AI developers do neither take public acceptance and trust for granted, nor would they necessarily require or welcome it, given the extremely sensitive nature of certain Great Game Changing AI Developments/AWEsome MODification Programs that they and significant others may be fully invested in ....... with the following recent submission being something of a prime example of what can be expected of/in/from the sector in the future, with some further future developments to remain advisably private and privy only to a very select few with an almighty need to know lest the information to others unprepared for the consequences prove both too much and too rich and deadly to them.

    :-) And although I can almost hear some say, most MRDA-like, ...... Well, he would [say that], wouldn't he. ....... the facts are as they are stated, and there's no fiction about that.

    GrahamC [2101071746] ....... Parading a NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT Weapons System on

    To Whom IT and AI May Be of Particular and Peculiar Concern

    Both the systemic difficulty and abiding opportunity that not only U.S. Strategic Command and other International and/or Internetional and/or IntelAIgent Control Forces have before them, is in both initially recognising and accepting and then subsequently being able to realise and driver and take full advantage of the Quantum Communications Leap Portals into the Virtually Remote and Practically Autonomous Executive Administration of Future Leading Systems with AWEsome Weaponry Exploitation via Expansive AI and NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT Means and Memes.

    And being as such is, in relative military and WMD project terms, extremely inexpensive, is its obvious additional attraction as a valuable export/import into any home grown or foreign alien arsenal, for any smarter interested and suitably booted and suited investor/client/partner, quite without equal and beyond present peer comparison ......... for currently it is thought absolutely unique with an unassailable and overwhelming market leading advantage.

    However, should that not be so, and there be readily available from others, viable competition or vital opposition to engage with in something similar, it would not be so much surprising as quite pleasing, proving as such would in that instance ...... well, birds of a feather flocking together, is very APT whenever considered by AIMaster Pilots of the Cyber Domain.

    The Olde Doom and Gloom and Boom Nuclear Way of Threatening Absolute Control is a Relic of the Past which identifies one as a Dinosaur for Rapid Evolutionary Extinction. There are New Kids on the Block with Altogether Different Toys to Exercise Exhaustively for Controlling Commands and Play Greater IntelAIgent Games with. I Kid U Not.

    Take Care. IT is an AI Jungle out there with all manner of strange cyber-mercenaries - or Private Sector Offensive Actors (PSOAs) ..... to root and boot and reboot and reroute.

    And they don't take prisoners, nor make out with you as a slave, which you might find somewhat different and almighty strange too. What's then not to like.

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  3. trevorde Silver badge


    IBM with it's 'Smarter Cities' and Watson

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    More of the same

    Homegrown Unbeaable BRItish Solution.

  5. Howard Sway Silver badge

    a path to a 10 per cent GDP boost from AI by 2030?

    So some ill-defined idea of AI is going to be adding 200 billion pounds a year to GDP in 9 years time in Britain?

    That is the same as the second largest sector right now (supermarkets) and double the contribution from banking (fourth).

    This is just an inane claim conjured out of nothing by fools who still believe in the rubbish that Dominic "I've just learnt to program in Python so I'm now the country's foremost IT expert" Cummings was spouting.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: a path to a 10 per cent GDP boost from AI by 2030?

      I think what you mean is 'I've watched someone else program in Python so now I'm the country's formost IT expert'.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >But why not Faculty? It has proved successful in its field and is a leading UK AI firm

    No, they're not. They're a boutique business intelligence and data strategy consultancy with a specialism in doing small- and mid-scale, non-secure public sector project work. They are not a significant player in the AI industry - they haven't published any significant research, they don't have significant products and they don't push the boundaries of what the industry does. They're well-connected powerpoint jockeys who know a spot of python on the side.

    The "leftish media's" issue with them is largely down to the fact they are closely entwined with the web of companies associated with Rob Mercer. While it's true they did not work "directly or indirectly" with Cambridge Analytica, they did just so happen to employ a number of recently ex-CA people at the core of the team who worked with Vote Leave during the campaign. Faculty have since leveraged those political connections to hoover up well over a dozen small, and some more not-so-small, data contracts in the heart of Whitehall. These contract wins have largely been done on a non-competitive basis, further raising eyebrows given Faculty's lack of delivery track record or expertise. Similarly, key Faculty staff managed to worm their way into the heart of the government's coronavirus response, including inexplicably attending SAGE meetings, again despite any kind of competence in scientific advisory, epidemiology, research or incident management.

    It should be noted that the "leftish media" in the form of The Guardian are also a significant investor in Faculty, so it's hardly like they're throwing rocks at the enemy.

    Given Cummings's well-deserved fall from grace, I would expect Faculty's influence over the public sector to wane in the immediate future.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Carpe Diem .... There's Nothing to Lose but Your Earthly Chains :-) *

      Given Cummings's well-deserved fall from grace, I would expect Faculty's influence over the public sector to wane in the immediate future. ..... Anonymous Coward

      Oh? While that may be one possibility, AC, there are many more others available where, with Dominic Cummings and Co having finally, eventually recognised that petrified and terrifying government inadequacies in furtherance of a creaky leaky vessel titanically holed below the waterline be the staid, and totally unsuited to the vibrant dynamic future, Parliamentary Opposition Politics model being practised in the hallowed halls and clusters of cloisters of Westminster, the anonymous private and pirate sector makes government[s] a series of offers well beyond their own subversive and coercive and self-rewarding control they cannot refuse ........ for/or the consequences be positively dire and extremely illuminating.

      And maybe the Guardian will grow a pair too, and start to share some great future news rather than anything else like the current stodge servered and which is based in the past to mindlessly numb and entertain the present?

      * And aint that the honest gospel truth simply told.

  7. Al fazed Bronze badge

    And ?

    I have a long memory and as far as mine is still working and the brain is responding to stimulii, I don't see any change in the form of political idiocy. What's new ? Two letters .... AI ?

    Three letters WTF.

    These wannabe historical mouth pieces are just privileged and big wage earners, doing their usual cow towing to the whims of their own particular big business mates. They blatantly ignore the research/findings of any organisation that is considerd a leader in the field, or even a regulator of the field, whilst still pumping public money into it. The "political type" personality will always favour their school chums, professional mates and relatives over the best person/outfit for the job. And they should not be allowed to enter politics, the military or business, unless you are hoping for controversy..

    My guru tells me to not worry about making mistakes every day, just don't keep making the same mistake whilst expecting a different outcome.

    Lets get rid of these expensive clowns before we have a real disaster. And we don't need AI to see it coming.

    Why are they not building more hospitals and schools to deal with the huge loss in front line troops caused by the on going pandemic ?

    Because AI did not tell them to ?

    So far, in 68 years of life I have seen little signs of human intelligence, please indicate why people are interested in creating replicas of our idiocies. HELP HELP HELP HELP He..

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: And ?

      Lets get rid of these expensive clowns before we have a real disaster. And we don't need AI to see it coming. ...... Al fazed

      Howdy doody, AI fazed,

      Re: real disasters ridding y'all of expensive clowns, here's a present one for the future you don't need AI to see it coming ......

      amanfromMars [2101110637] ....... just saying on

      The U.S. is already borrowing money to pay its interest today. If rates go up, they’re getting into the cycle where they have to borrow more just to be able to pay interest, which is not a good position.

      The question no one answers correctly whenever asked of the U.S. and/or any country with colossal mountains of debt with huge costly programs and projects requiring unlimited spending/distribution and allocation of fiat currencies that create further massive interest incurring deficits to be added to the aforementioned crippling national debt figure, ad infinitum, is who on Earth would be both fool and certifiably insane enough to even begin to contemplate accepting that irreconcilable Sisyphean burden, and have that sort of wealth to give away to somebody else who cannot ever be able and therefore will never ever repay and return the favour in a future in which no one responsible for or presently living in the current increasingly rapidly unfolding existing systems collapsing disaster, exists?

      Is it dead wrong to answer no such person or group of persons exists, and further reveal that no such person or group of persons has ever existed nor will ever exist in the future either, and you are all magnificently conned/pwnd ‽ .

      It is though not as if the masquerade has not been alluded to before and shared with you  .....

      It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning. ..... Henry Ford

      Does anything need to be done about it to fix it? Do you want to do anything about it or do you want someone else to do something about on your behalf? Or are you happy to bury your heads in the sand and kick the can down the road and allow the ongoing situation to continue to its logical catastrophic implosion?

      Do you even know what the fix is ‽ . 

      And if you want to see what surreal world debt looks like, albeit with it being pictured for 2012 rather than 2021, cast your beady eyes across and down this page and then try to tell yourself none of all of the above is not true, and you are not being conned big time :-)

      Can you imagine what the current pictures would be?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And ?

      What's new ? Two letters .... AI ?

      No, that's not new. What's new is that people have conveniently forgotten the previous AI hype cycles (of which there have been at least two and perhaps more) and are now climbing up the next one.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Moonshots and ARPA-esque models

    That's what we need more of.

    Oh, and public trust. Good luck with that.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Moonshots and ARPA-esque models

      Moonshots and ARPA-esque models. That's what we need more of.

      Oh, and public trust. Good luck with that. ...... Anonymous Coward

      If the greater public had any inkling at all about how things are organised and get done practically everywhere, there would be rivers of blood in the halls and homes of high political executive and elite administrative business office, AC, and the natives would surely claim they be perfectly right to be absolutely furious, and that is terrifying to the present leading responsible and accountable incumbents everywhere because such intel is so easily revealed virtually anywhere at any time without any timely notice of intention.

      And as we all know, once information is out there, there's no putting it back to unknow it. But hey, that's the world they have created for themselves and they own.

      Not very smart of them, eh?

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Moonshots and ARPA-esque models

      This requires transparency and accountability. Neither of which are to be found in the current gov at all, in fact it is obvious these are being actively discouraged and undermined.

  9. tojb

    AI here is code for "bot farming"

    Its quite annoying for those of those who do AI research that the term in relation to government is now code for farming twitterbots or generally manipulating the masses over social media. Really that sort of thing is not very impressive or interesting, although consequences can be dramatic, sure. Please call it what it is el Reg, rather than falling for the govts line that e-sneaking and social media trawls are "AI".

  10. heyrick Silver badge

    at a democratic decision

    When all British citizens of majority age have the right and ability to vote, it is democratic.

    When you start cherry picking who can and cannot vote, for whatever reason, it's no longer democratic.

    The referendum was the latter, not the former. Repeating the "democratic vote" mantra does not make it so, any more than the orange idiot over the way saying the election was "stolen" makes it so.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Re: at a democratic decision

      Uh, sorry? Are you claiming there was voter suppression in the leave referendum? If so whose votes were suppressed?

      (Don't get me wrong: I voted remain and was and am horrified by the decision. But, in 2016, a majority of people did vote to leave.)

      1. Cynic_999

        Re: at a democratic decision

        Voting does NOT amount to democracy if the people voting are given deliberately selective, misleading or incorrect information on which they base their decision. Unfortunately it would be a very rare election or referendum where the amount of false information and false promises does not swamp the amount of reliable & truthful information.

        If even 50% of the promises made by the "vote leave" campaigners were likely to come true, then I would accept that the result of the referendum was the "Will of the people".

        Unfortunately people who have been completely hoodwinked rarely admit even to themselves that they have been scammed, and usually insist that they made a wise decision no matter what evidence might emerge to the contrary. I'm quite sure I made the correct decision sending money to the Nigerian prince, it was just bad luck that things have been held up a while, and I'll be receiving £millions any year now.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: at a democratic decision

        Telling people that a referendum is non-binding (so why bother voting) then completely changing the rules after the result is effectively voter suppression.

        And then to claim democracy is working!?!

        That is anything but democratic.

      3. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: at a democratic decision

        "If so whose votes were suppressed?"

        Try any British citizen who has been living in the EU for long enough that the arbitrary "you no longer count" rule kicks in. The one that successive PMs say they'll get rid of, yet never manage to do.

        Why don't we count? Because apparently the whole issue of the UK's relationship with the EU simply has nothing to do with UK citizens living in the EU. Huh? That argument doesn't hold air, never mind water.

        Or, another way to look at it, a clever yet slimy way to discount the people who took benefit of their EU rights and are thus more likely to vote in favour of the EU because they actually understand what it means.

        And that's not even getting into the shit that the Brexiteers pulled around and especially following the referendum, as detailed above.

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