Britain to invest 300 million pounds in AI supercomputing

FILE PHOTO: Rishi Sunak delivers a speech on AI in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said on Wednesday it would boost funding for two supercomputers which will support research into making advanced artificial intelligence models safe.

Funding for the "AI Research Resource" will be increased to 300 million pounds ($363.57 million) from a previously announced 100 million pounds, the government said at an AI safety summit aimed at charting a safe way forward for the rapidly evolving technology.

"Frontier AI models are becoming exponentially more powerful," British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on social media platform X.

"This investment will make sure Britain’s scientific talent have the tools they need to make the most advanced models of AI safe."

Britain said two new supercomputers, one based in Cambridge and one in Bristol, would give researchers access to resources with more than thirty-times the capacity of Britain's current largest public AI computing tools.

The machines, which will be running from summer next year, will be used to analyse advanced AI models to test safety features, as well as to drive breakthroughs in drug discovery and clean energy, the government said.

Bristol's "Isambard-AI" will include 5,000 advanced AI chips from Nvidia in a supercomputer built by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, while the Cambridge machine "Dawn" will be delivered through a partnership with Dell and UK SME StackHPC and powered by more than 1,000 Intel chips, Britain said.

($1 = 0.8252 pounds)

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)