Introduction

The government has today announced an ambitious skills and talent package, offering Masters through to Fellowships, to ensure the UK has the skills needed to make the most of artificial intelligence applications in the economy.

The whole skills package amounts to up to £110 million and addresses a key commitment from the modern Industrial Strategy to ensure the UK is equipped with the expertise to make the country a world-leader in artificial intelligence.

The schemes are as follows:

  • Up to five research fellowships, created in collaboration with The Alan Turing Institute to both attract and retain the best research talent from around the world.
  • 200 new AI Masters places at universities across the UK, funded by companies such as DeepMind, Cisco and BAE Systems.
  • 1,000 AI PhD places at universities across England, Scotland and Wales.

The Alan Turing AI Fellowships

The Office for Artificial Intelligence, The Alan Turing Institute and UKRI have worked together to design this first call for up to five Turing AI Fellowships. 

£8.5 million government funding has been secured for the first Wave. Further AI Fellowship opportunities will be launched later in 2019.

Competitive funding packages, on a full-time or part-time basis, will be available to established mid-career and senior AI researchers to develop a transformative research programme. The initiative covers a broad range of AI applications across mathematical sciences, statistical sciences, computational sciences and engineering. Consideration may also be given to AI work that interfaces with the life science, social sciences or humanities. 

These Fellowships provide the opportunity for leading researchers to undertake high quality, ambitious and transformative research with high impact, through the award of flexible funding. Fellows will have the opportunity to spend time at the Turing, working collaboratively across the Institute and benefiting from the strong partner network, opportunities to shape the future of AI landscape and access to the Turing’s Research Engineering Team, for example.

The Alan Turing Institute published the call on 18 February, with Fellows taking up roles in time for the 2019/20 academic year, with the Fellowships lasting up to five years. 

Adrian Smith, Institute Director, The Alan Turing Institute, said:

“Artificial intelligence represents an incredible opportunity to transform our economy and our lives for the better. The Turing AI Fellowships will be crucial in building UK leadership capability, driving forward ambitious research and ensuring that the UK can attract, retain, and develop world-leading research talent."

Examples of research areas which are of particular interest to the UK AI ecosystem and which span academic disciplines include:

  • Technical work on AI ethics (including fairness, interpretability and privacy);
  • AI safety (including robustness, security and control);
  • Robotics, vision and sensing, including service robotics;
  • Reasoning and autonomous decision making with uncertainty;
  • Multi-agent systems and agent-based modelling;
  • Machine learning;
  • Language (including Natural Language Processing);
  • Applications of AI across a range of disciplines e.g. engineering, finance/economics, manufacturing, medicine, science, the environment and transport.

Conclusion

More information about the call can be accessed on the Turing’s AI Fellowships page.

Find the wider government announcement here.

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