Theresa May will announce plans to invest millions of pounds into artificial intelligence and it’s role in cancer research. 

In a speech in Mansfield on Monday, the prime minister will explain the importance of early diagnosis and how artificial intelligence can play an important role.

“Late diagnosis of otherwise treatable illnesses is one of the biggest causes of avoidable deaths,” May will say.

“The development of smart technologies to analyse great quantities of data quickly and with a higher degree of accuracy than is possible by human beings, opens up a whole new field of medical research and gives us a new weapon in our armoury in the fight against disease.”

“Achieving this mission will not only save thousands of lives. It will incubate a whole new industry around AI-in-healthcare, creating high-skilled science jobs across the country, drawing on existing centres of excellence in places like Edinburgh, Oxford and Leeds – and helping to grow new ones.”

Development in artificial intelligence is expected to help prevent 22,000 deaths from cancer each year by 2033.

The funding will be part of a long-term investment for technological innovation, where over £1.4 billion has been invested in research and development.

“If this infrastructure enabled us to reduce late diagnosis by half in the next 15 years, then for just four types of cancers – lung, bowel, prostate and ovary – 22,000 fewer people each year would die within five years of their diagnosis,” said Sir Harpal Kumar, the chief executive of Cancer Research UK.

“Our goal is that three in four people will survive their cancer by 2034 and we support efforts that will help us achieve this ambition.”

The prime minister’s speech is expected to lay out detailed plans on the role of artificial intelligence for cancer and various other chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes and dementia.