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The UK could win the global AI race, but only if we ask ourselves the difficult questions

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The UK is well-placed to compete with China and the US when it comes to ethical artificial intelligence
The UK is well-placed to compete with China and the US when it comes to ethical artificial intelligence Credit: AFP

Almost 70 years before he was immortalised on the £50 bank note, codebreaker and now celebrated computer scientist, Alan Turing, posed one of the most interesting questions ever faced by humankind: can machines think?

Writing from his home in Wilmslow, near Manchester, Turing foresaw what many today consider the most important technological development of the 20th century: the rise of artificial intelligence.

Just a few decades later, AI is everywhere. From analysing legal documents to detecting financial fraud, firms are increasingly using machines and algorithms to transform the way we work. That leads us to the next big question for mankind: if machines can think, how do we want them to do...

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