UK and France cosy up by strengthening tech ties with AI and data

The Alan Turing Institute and France's DATAIA will collaborate on research

The UK's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and France's Department of Digital Affairs have reached an agreement to grow both countries' digital economies, focusing on AI and data innovation.

The announcement was made by Digital Secretary Matt Hancock and his French counterpart, Mounir Mahjoubi at the UK-France Digital Colloque summit in Paris. The two politicians signed an accord on digital government that sets out how the two countries will co-operate on innovation, artificial intelligence, data and digital strategies to benefit both countries' digital economies.

"The UK is a digital dynamo, increasingly recognised across the world as a place where ingenuity and innovation can flourish. We are home to four in ten of Europe's tech businesses worth more than $1 billion and London is the AI capital of Europe," Hancock said.

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"France is also doing great work in this area, and these new partnerships show the strength and depth of our respective tech industries and are the first stage in us developing a closer working relationship. This will help us better serve our citizens and provide a boost for our digital economies."

Hancock also announced the UK's Alan Turing Institute will sign an agreement with French institute, DATAIA to help co-ordinate efforts between UK and French research. The two will collaborate efforts in mutually interesting fields and will work towards introducing a fairer and more transparent blueprint for the development of algorithms.

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"The fundamental goal behind all our research is to build a data and AI enriched world for the benefit of all. In order to do this, it is critical to forge international collaborations and share our knowledge, expertise and ideas with other research centres around the world," Alan Wilson, CEO of The Alan Turing Institute said.

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"The Institute and DATAIA both share a vision for building research in data science and AI which crosses disciplinary boundaries and recognises the societal implications of data and algorithms. It is a pleasure to kickstart this engagement and we look forward to working with them to advance UK and French excellence in this area."

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