back to article That's cute. gathers up £100M for AI super-models

The UK government on Monday said it's putting up £100 million ($125 million) to launch a Foundation Model Taskforce, which is hoped will help spur the development of AI systems that can boost the nation's GDP. Large language models, such as OpenAI's ChatGPT and GPT-4, are set to appear in software and services throughout the …

  1. wolfetone Silver badge

    The Foundation Model Taskforce's first job?

    Ask ChatGPT how to get more money.

  2. Philip Stott

    Eminently qualified

    Why does our Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary, Michelle Donelan have a degree in history and politics?

    Couldn't we find someone with a STEM degree ... ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eminently qualified

      Perhaps surprisingly, there are a few possibilities. Kemi Badenoch (Computer Systems Engineering) is Minister for Business and Trade, and was International Trade Minister before the reorganisation of departments earlier this year. Other candidates would be Nadhim Zahawi (Chem. Eng.), who is currently a backbencher, and Therese Coffey (Chemistry), the Environment Minister.

      Donelan was DCMS Minister before the reshuffle, so she does have some experience, particularly with the "digital" part.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Eminently qualified

        You forgot Matt Wanksock who had his own app by the way.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Eminently qualified

          "who had his own app by the way"

          Which, remembering the reports about that, is sufficient to rule him out.

        2. steviebuk Silver badge

          Re: Eminently qualified

          Which was full of holes :)

    2. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: Eminently qualified

      The last time they tried making someone with appropriate qualifications a minster, we ended up with Krazy Kwasi in Number 11.

    3. cookieMonster Silver badge

      Re: Eminently qualified

      What about our old favourite, “Dildo* Harding”

      * never sure of the correct spelling

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eminently qualified

      Par for the course for UK Government ministers, chock full of History, Classics and politics and local government graduates.

      Brings to mind the line in Father Ted that in times past the upper classes sent the less capable members of the family into the clergy, I think these days it must be politics

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eminently qualified

      Why does our Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary, Michelle Donelan have a degree in history and politics?

      Perhaps she should be branded as the Science, History, innovation and Technology Secretary?

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Eminently qualified

        "Perhaps she should be branded as the Science, History, innovation and Technology Secretary?"

        That fits, since all the UK's technological innovation is historical not current

    6. MrGreen

      Re: Eminently qualified

      Any idiot (MP) can keep increasing taxes.

  3. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    £100M for AI super-models

    "Darling, I wouldn't get out of bed in the morning for anything less than £1 billion"

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I wonder how many times that money gets announced before it gets spent. Always assuming it does get spent.

    1. monty75

      By “spent” I presume you mean “transferred into the pockets of friendly consultancy companies”

  5. Howard Sway Silver badge

    we can continue to lead the way in developing safe and trustworthy AI

    What do you mean "continue"? You have to be already leading to be able to continue doing so, and to try and pretend that the UK is currently doing so is just insulting bullshit. Or maybe I'm wrong, and they truly mean the "safe and trustworthy" bit, because nobody else is hampering themselves with such quaint notions in the rush towards the goldmines. But it's highly unlikely - once someone tells them that safe and trustworthy would cost a lot of money, and be outcompeted by unsafe and untrustworthy that gets to market first, it'll just become another slogan chucked about to try and gloss over all the negatives..

  6. rg287 Silver badge

    Could we not just spend that £1Bn on something useful, like a tram network for Leeds. Which would improve both actual mobility and social mobility.

    Amazing how there's never any money for infrastructure projects that might benefit people's lives, but we can find £100m for a new chatbot or £900m for BritGPT (which has already been done, by the way - less AI, more Ay Eye).

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      As a comparison, the total spent on MPs' in FY 2022-3 was £109 million for salaries and £144 million for expenses. That's without the food and drink subsidies in the Houses of Parliament which also benefit staff.

    2. monty75

      Stop moaning. You’re getting a high speed train that’ll get you to London half an hour quicker (assuming you don’t mind walking to Birmingham first and redefine London as “somewhere just about on the Tube network” and you don’t need to get there in the next decade or two)

  7. seven of five

    Nice teaser images.

    Last time I checked, the Republic of Ireland was not yet part of the UK.

  8. steviebuk Silver badge


    "right now it feels as though everyone is too dazzled by the magical shiny-shiny nature of the tech and has lost all sense of proportion."

  9. s. pam Silver badge

    £100M for Ain't Intelligent, £0 for Nurses and Doctors

    What a total clusterflock waste of taxpayer money! Sickening trendmonger decision vs. trying to keep the country healthy.

  10. GBE

    Not a single joke about the intelligence of supermodels?

    I don't actually know any supermodels, and they're probably as smart as anybody else.

    But there are stereotypes to be maintained!

    [of both supermodels and tchno-geeks]

  11. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Keep it simple, stupid ...... give the money to a name. It makes blame easier.:-)

    "We need to act now to seize the opportunities AI can offer us in the future. We're backing our expert taskforce with the funding to make our ambitions for an AI-enabled country a reality and keep the UK at the front of the pack in this emerging technology," Donelan said.

    Forget all that errant nonsense and politically corrupt hype about backing our expert taskforce [presently a figment of deluded imaginations] for everything you try will failure comprehensively to gain any traction and acceptance if you have not secured the vital personal services of what are able to be, ..... because of what they can so easily do with their extensively betatested experience in AI enabled fields/novel, as in never before realised, practically remotely, virtually accessed playgrounds, ..... extremely dangerous and almighty powerful individuals, and that means presenting/granting them, whenever it is all that you can only really offer them that they might find attractive and most useful, loadsamoney, which in turn they can return to the money system via their purchases of necessities and luxuries reflecting their worth as their patently successful private proprietary intellectual property sharings generate billions in return for, no matter how many millions any Initial SMARTR Grant may have been, what is in actuality, virtually peanuts that you normally pay to monkeys to keep the donkeys quiet.

    Nobody gets to do leading AI on the cheap and cheerful, and thinking to steal AI secrets and use information without the express permission of the suitably rewarded generating source is always going to be an inordinately expensive corporate and personally appropriately painful mistake, so don't make it.

    You have been warned. AI don't recognise or accept excuses for wilful treachery ..... which is very human of them, is it not, as it appears to mirror leading humanities' views and thoughts on treason ..... the penalty for which is an untimely death?

    One thing you can be absolutely certain of, is all of your competition and opposition will be provided by that and those exactly supplying all of the above.

  12. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    And a quick breakdown

    on the 100 million expenditure reveals

    20 million to crapita

    15 million to fuckitso

    5 million to screw , scrivener, and bodge (for coming up with a logo and a catch phrase)

    20 million on taking out advert for staff

    10 million to crapita for sub-contract staff

    20 million to microsoft/oracle/IBM for software

    10 million for buying servers/computers/east london building to put it in

    3&1/2 farthings for the connecting said building to the internet

    Cynical? me? never

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