Adrian Weller

Adrian Weller’s research focuses on advancing AI capabilities and helping to ensure that they’ll be used responsibly to benefit individuals and society

In a nutshell, tell me about your work

I’m broadly interested in advancing AI capabilities and helping to ensure that they’ll be used to benefit individuals and society. One of my areas of focus is trying to make sure that the AI systems we design, develop and deploy, are used in ways which are safe and ethical.

What motivated you to work in the area of safe and ethical AI?

There’s great hope that AI will bring tremendous benefits, but to enable that we must make sure that it is developed and deployed in ways that are safe and ethical. By getting this right, we’ll improve people’s lives, foster the right sort of innovation, reduce fears of adoption, and provide concrete stepping stones towards more powerful AI.

What do you see as the Turing’s role in this area?

There’s a lot of work to do, and it’s needed urgently – please get involved! The Turing has a unique role to play by convening and coordinating national engagement and interdisciplinary research around this critical area. 

What’s been a career highlight so far?

I’ve had wonderful opportunities to learn from, and work with, passionate and amazingly talented people from a wide range of backgrounds, including researchers, users, practitioners, stakeholders and policymakers.

What is one of the biggest misconceptions about AI?

For the foreseeable future, AI operates in ways that are very different to humans. AI can be much more consistent, and can identify patterns in huge amounts of data – but lacks any notion of context or common sense. This means there are great opportunities for us to work closely with machines, to harness the best of both.

Where do you think the UK can be global leader within the field of AI?

By working with international partners, the UK has strengths in all the key areas needed to play a leading role in developing a great ecosystem for trustworthy, responsible AI: academic excellence, a thriving commercial environment, and great depth of expertise and experience in thoughtful governance.

Finally, when not working what can you be found doing?

I love spending time with family and friends. And there are so many fascinating things to explore: reading, music, movies... a current passion is trying different coffees!