NEW DELHI: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has unveiled an initiative to harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) in the field of life sciences, with a focus on addressing major health challenges. The Prime Minister in a speech on October 26 in London, announced the UK government’s investment of £100 million in development of AI in life sciences. The investment is aimed in the areas where the rapid integration of AI holds immense potential for achieving groundbreaking advancements in treatments for previously incurable diseases.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said, “AI can help us solve some of the greatest social challenges of our time. AI could help find novel dementia treatments or develop vaccines for cancer. That’s why today we’re investing a further £100 million to accelerate the use of AI on the most transformational breakthroughs in treatments for previously incurable diseases.”
The AI Life Sciences Accelerator Mission, as outlined by the government, will leverage the United Kingdom’s strengths in secure health data and cuttingedge AI technology to foster innovations in healthcare.
This initiative is aligned with the broader UK government’s Life Sciences Vision, which encompasses eight critical healthcare missions that will be collectively tackled by government bodies, industry, the National Health Service (NHS), academia, and medical research charities. These missions span from improving cancer treatment to addressing the challenges of dementia.
The allocated £100 million will play a significant role in propelling this mission forward, particularly in exploring how AI can be harnessed to tackle conditions associated with the highest mortality and morbidity rates.
AI-driven technologies have demonstrated significant promise, particularly in the domain of diagnosing and potentially treating mental health issues. Leading companies are already deploying conversational AI solutions to support individuals facing mental health challenges, guiding them through proactive prevention routines, and connecting them with human therapists when necessary. It enhances patient care and alleviates the pressure on NHS waiting lists.
The funding will help in the testing and trial of new technologies within the next 18 months. Over the next five years, the UK government is planning to transform mental health research by establishing world-class data infrastructure.