We are delighted that the Government has today announced its commitment to enabling AI Fellows to join the Turing. The government announcement also enacts the recommendation in Professor Dame Wendy Hall and Jérôme Pesenti’s report that the Turing becomes the national research centre for artificial intelligence, adding to the data science mission we were created with.
In the last decade artificial intelligence and data science have experienced major growth thanks to break-throughs in research into machine learning and neural networks, increases in computer power and our ability to capture data, and access to industry challenges and investment.
There are considerable areas of overlap between these two areas of science, both in their potential to bring game-changing impact to our society and economy, and in the core scientific competencies which underpin them, echoed in the legacy of our namesake Alan Turing, whose research spanned both data science and artificial intelligence as we consider them today.
For example, in a project which draws on both core data science skills and AI, Turing researchers are seeking ways to automate the lengthy process of ‘wrangling’ data before it is analysed, with the potential to dramatically cut back on the time and resources required to analyse data. Turing researchers are using machine learning techniques in healthcare, which could lead to artificially intelligent machines who can recommend personalised courses of medicine.
In partnership with Accenture, we are working to train computers to detect fraud and money laundering, drawing on new and established artificial intelligence, network science and machine learning techniques. Researchers at the Turing are also focused on the significant ethical and governance questions surrounding the use of AI and data; from work exploring the fairness of algorithms to working on practical measures to develop best practice for explaining processes delivered by AI.
We welcome the opportunity to add an AI focus to our scientific programme, and build on our culture of cross-disciplinarity and collaboration to bring experts across all areas of science together.
We look forward to working with government, our partners and the broader data science and AI community to ensure that these new technologies are advanced for the public good, driving positive impact and ethical standards for society, science and the economy.
Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation
We welcome the Government’s announcement of £9m funding for a new Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation which will work to ensure and enable ethical, safe and innovative uses of data including in AI, as well as exploring the setup of ‘data trusts’.
If we are to realise the world-changing potential of data science and AI, it is critical that we address the ethical implications of these technologies and ensure they are designed to promote fairness, safety and the right to privacy. Safe storage, access and sharing of data is also essential to enable data science and AI to be employed in business, industry and public services.
At the Turing we have a growing cohort of researchers working on vital areas of data ethics research including new technical methods to ensure that algorithmic decisions are explainable and transparent, and techniques to eradicate bias from automated systems. As the national institute, the Turing is also well placed to use our convening power to improve ways to enable secure sharing of data assets for research.
Our aim is to link cutting-edge research with the real-world needs of policy and industry.
Today’s announcement will ensure even more recognition for this vital area of research and policy, and we look forward to working alongside the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation as the plans develop.
To find out more about the links between data science and artificial intelligence, visit our FAQ page.
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