Alan Turing first considered the question, "Can machines think?" in his seminal paper, Computing Machinery and Intelligence, published in 1950. Since that time, major advances in computer power, colossal increases in the volume of data being produced every day, and a global economy waking up to the value of data analytics have meant that artificially intelligent software and tools – ‘thinking machines’ – are everywhere: from speech recognition software and book and film recommendations, to facial recognition and medical diagnosis from images.
It is a technology which, like data science, has the potential to transform the world we live in. As innovation in AI grows, there is an opportunity – and responsibility – to ensure that artificially intelligent systems are built to contribute to the public good and to a well-functioning economy, with fairness, reliability, security, and appropriate transparency and privacy at its core.
The AI programme’s goal is to advance world-class research into artificial intelligence, its applications and its implications for society, building on the wealth of expertise and knowledge across our academic network.
Our programme expertise draws on the cross-disciplinarity at the heart of the Turing, bringing together technical experts to achieve breakthroughs in AI research and its applications, with social scientists, ethicists, legal experts, industry, and policy makers who are considering the use of AI in real-world applications.
We will contribute to leadership around this area, drawing on our links with industry and government to help ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of scientific innovation while building an ethical and regulatory framework for the use of AI that prevents misuse and inappropriate discrimination.
The initial challenges focus on three areas: safe and ethical AI; robotics and autonomous systems (RAS); and multi-agent systems (MAS), which all contribute to the Institute’s mission to build a world-leading centre for AI research.