News & Views
How is the UK approaching the Future Development of AI?
Jun 16 2023
"We must invest in research and systems in which can have trust and confidence, and ensure these considerations are integrated in all aspects of the work as it progresses." Kedar Pandya
A series of new investments into AI announced during this year’s London Tech Week, (10- 14 June), aim to boost the UK’s position as a pioneer in the field, supporting projects for the public good and in pursuit of global challenges.
Provided through the UKRI Technology Missions Fund and Turing AI World Leading Researcher Fellowships scheme, £31 million has been awarded to to Responsible AI UK, a large consortium focused on creating a UK and international research and innovation ecosystem for responsible and trustworthy AI that will be responsive to the needs of society.
Led by Professor Gopal Ramchurn, University of Southampton and working across universities, businesses, public and third sectors and the general public, multidisciplinary research will increase our understanding of what responsible and trustworthy AI is, how to develop it and build it into existing systems and the impacts it will have on society.
Accelerating AI adoption
In addition, £2 million will be awarded to 42 projects to carry out feasibility studies in businesses as part of the BridgeAI programme, which aims to accelerate the adoption of trusted and responsible AI and machine learning (ML) technologies. Projects will look at developing a range of tools to facilitate assessment of AI technologies with regards to:
- privacy and security
Successful projects will go on to receive a share of an additional £19 million to develop these AI solutions further.
Meeting net zero targets
A further £13 million will be used to fund 13 projects led by universities across the UK to help the UK meet its net zero targets. Projects will look at developing AI technologies for more sustainable land management; accelerating energy efficient carbon dioxide capture, improving resilience for natural hazards and extreme events, potentially leading to reduced energy bills for UK energy consumers; and accelerating selection of biofuel crops with high yields that are climate resistance and will minimise environmental impact.
Outcomes will help to develop new ways of reducing the UK’s carbon footprint, and potentially leading to reduced energy bills for UK energy consumers.
UKRI has also awarded 38 million for two new Turing AI World Leading Researcher Fellowships to Professor Michael Bronstein and Professor Alison Noble, both based at the University of Oxford.
Professor Bronstein will develop a novel mathematical framework for geometric and graph machine learning (ML) to help address problems in the domains of drug and food design. This includes developing new therapeutic molecules or mapping the ‘dark matter’ of food-based bioactive ingredients.
Professor Noble’s research will work towards new AI for shared human-machine decision-making in healthcare imaging including studying ethics of AI and its trustworthiness (explaining decisions).The research will also develop human skill models of clinical tasks by applying ML-based analysis to video and other sensor data, encouraging greater interaction between UK academia and industry in healthcare imaging and allied areas, as well as explore implications on how AI adoption is changing expectations on human skills.
Kedar Pandya, Executive Director, Cross-Council Programmes at EPSRC, said: "The UK’s expertise in the field of AI is a major asset to the country and will help develop the science and technology that will shape the fabric of many areas of our lives. That is why UKRI is continuing to invest in the people and organisations that will have wide-ranging benefit.
"For this to be successful we must invest in research and systems in which can have trust and confidence, and ensure these considerations are integrated in all aspects of the work as it progresses. The projects and grants announced today will help us achieve this goal.”
Further details on the Responsible AI UK can be found on the link below.
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