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The UK government has announced plans to invest £100m to develop artificial intelligence (AI) foundation models to bolster the country’s capabilities in the field.

Foundation models are AI systems trained on massive amounts of text, photos, video, or audio to achieve broad and complex abilities across multiple domains.

In addition, the UK is spending £900m on a new ‘exascale’ supercomputer to further support the development of AI.

The initial investment in the AI taskforce is aimed at developing “safe and reliable” use of AI and ensuring that the UK is “globally competitive” in this area.

Through the initiative, the UK hopes to develop ‘sovereign’ AI capabilities that are expected to benefit areas such as healthcare and education.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Harnessing the potential of AI provides enormous opportunities to grow our economy, create better-paid jobs, and build a better future through advances in healthcare and security.

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“By investing in emerging technologies through our new expert taskforce, we can continue to lead the way in developing safe and trustworthy AI as part of shaping a more innovative UK economy.”

In a separate development, the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) has called on European Union authorities to launch an investigation into ChatGPT and similar chatbots.

BEUC is an umbrella body for 46 consumer organisations from 32 nations.

The lobby group expressed its concerns in separate letters to the networks of consumer safety authorities (CSN network) and consumer protection authorities (CPC network) earlier this month, reported Reuters.