Director, Adrian Smith’s AI UK programme picks

This year's event is themed around the National AI Strategy

Tuesday 01 Mar 2022

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Later this month, we’ll be hosting AI UK 2022, the UK’s annual showcase of AI and data science. This year’s line-up – the largest and most diverse programme of speakers ever hosted by the Turing – is themed around the National AI Strategy, in which the Turing is taking a leading role. Ahead of the event, I want to highlight some of the sessions and discussions I’m looking forward to the most.

Pillar 1 of the National AI Strategy includes a commitment to “develop, attract and train the best people to build and use AI”, and a panel discussion on this topic – featuring AI Council Chair Tabitha Goldstaub and Professor of Computer Science Wendy Hall – opens the first day of ‘The conversation’ stage. Hosted by Anjana Ahuja, this stage focuses on the big questions in AI, featuring debates, interviews and panel discussions.

Another highlight of this stage will be the ‘AI for cities’ session. Pillar 2 of the National AI Strategy is to ensure that “AI benefits all sectors and regions”, which aligns with our own Turing 2.0 ambition to grow our community across the UK and become a truly national institute. I’m therefore delighted we can welcome guests including Chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership Lou Cordwell and the Lord Mayor of Belfast Kate Nicholl to discuss what role AI can play in boosting the urban infrastructure of our cities.

Pillar 3 of the National AI Strategy is “governing AI effectively”, which will form a key topic of discussion on the ‘Public policy’ stage, hosted by Timandra Harkness. The Turing is already taking a leading role in this area: last month, we announced the launch of the AI Standards Hub, a new platform to bring the UK’s AI community together, and help organisations develop and benefit from global standards. On this topic, Florian Ostmann will be hosting a panel on developing the AI Standards Hub here in the UK, while David Leslie will look at the challenges of coordinating AI ethics and governance across the globe.

The ‘In the lab’ stage, hosted by Gemma Milne, will feature discussions about the latest innovations and breakthroughs in UK universities and institutions. I’m particularly looking forward to two sessions focusing on the potential of AI to transform the lives of those with disabilities and chronic illnesses. Professor of AI and Neuroscience Aldo Faisal will look at the potential of reinforcement learning to enhance assistive technology for those living with disabilities, while Turing AI Fellow Damien Coyle will explore groundbreaking developments in intelligent neurotechnology.

The fourth stage, hosted by Shini Somara, is dedicated to ‘Climate action’, exploring how we can use AI and data science to mitigate the existential threat of climate change. Opening the stage, Howard Covington and Stephen Belcher will reflect on COP26, and the possibilities of using AI to meet net zero targets; while the second day begins with Chris Dent and Mona Faraji Niri discussing the potential of AI to transform the energy sector.

The sessions I’ve mentioned here are just a small sample of what we have to look forward to at AI UK 2022. I hope you’ll join us for this virtual celebration of all the groundbreaking work being undertaken across the UK’s AI community.

View the full AI UK 2022 programme and get ticket info