Scotland is ‘open for business’ when it comes to artificial intelligence (AI), a government minister told a London audience this week.

Innovation minister Richard Lochhead told investors and industry leaders in the capital that the country is a ‘world-leading destination for developing ethical artificial intelligence’.

Mr Lochhead, who spoke at the CogX fringe event at Scotland House, highlighted the supportive environment being developed to foster the industry.

This includes the Scottish Government’s £24 million strategic investment in The Data Lab, a the innovation centre for data and AI and home of the Scottish AI Alliance, and the University of Glasgow’s new Centre for Data Science and AI, which opened earlier this week.

He said: “We are working to make Scotland a world leader in the development and use of artificial intelligence in a way which is trustworthy, ethical and inclusive. We are, first and foremost, a land of invention, a pioneer in technology and an ideal place to invest and grow an AI business.

“Scotland gets AI. Our universities’ AI research and teaching has been ranked as world-class since the early formation of the sector, while Edinburgh was recently ranked the UK’s most “AI ready” city in the UK.

“Scotland is an outward-looking nation and is open for business. While rising to the challenges of this rapidly-evolving technology, we are also embracing the unprecedented economic opportunity it presents – just as we did for previous scientific and industrial revolutions.”

The Scottish Government recently invested a further £59 million in CivTech, a research and development scheme involving the public sector and innovative businesses.

The National Robotarium, home to world-leading experts in robotics and AI, has also received £1.4 million in Scottish Government support.