UK and France to strengthen links in tech sector and AI

Britain and France’s leading tech sectors will be brought closer together with plans for a digital conference to promote deeper integration in the digital economy, it has been announced.

Matt Hancock, Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, has met his French counterpart, Françoise Nyssen, at the UK France Summit hosted by the Prime Minister and the French resident, Emmanuel Macron, at Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst. He said the digital conference is to take place this year and foster cross-Channel collaboration between academics, industry and government.

Its aim is to help both countries seize the economic and social benefits of fast-developing tech such as artificial intelligence (AI), and the conference will bring together experts on data, cyber security, digital government and digital skills to share their knowledge.

The countries also reaffirmed their commitment and support for the principle of net neutrality, which promotes a free and open internet. They agreed to make sure users can access websites without internet service providers favouring or blocking particular sites.

Matt Hancock, Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, said: “The UK and France are strengthening ties in technology and innovation. I’m looking forward to leading a cutting-edge digital conference this year which will see our world-leading experts in cyber security, digital skills, artificial intelligence, data and digital government share their talent and knowledge.

“Both countries benefit when our digital economies are strong and the event will deepen our bonds and foster cross-Channel collaboration between those at the forefront of modern technology.”

Julian David, CEO of techUK, said: “This event is a significant step towards greater collaboration between the British and French tech sectors. Both countries share similar opportunities and challenges as we build our leading digital economies through technologies like artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and cyber security.

“International platforms for collaboration, such as the one announced by Matt Hancock today, provide valuable cross-border perspectives on many of the social, legal and ethical questions that will be raised as we continue to innovate.”

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