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 goal of The Alan Turing Institute’s AI programme 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.
In line with our new role as the national institute for artificial intelligence, 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.
Our programme expertise draws on the cross-disciplinarity at the heart of the Turing; bringing together technical experts to forge ahead with breakthroughs in fundamental AI research and its applications, with social scientists, ethicists, legal experts, industry, and policy-makers who are considering the implications of AI in real-world applications.
About Dr Adrian Weller, the programme’s director
Dr Adrian Weller was appointed as the Institute’s Programme Director for Artificial Intelligence in February 2018. Adrian has extensive experience in AI, its commercial applications and how it may be used to benefit society. He has advised numerous companies on applying AI and held senior roles in the financial sector.
In addition to his position as a Turing Fellow, Adrian is a senior research fellow in the Machine Learning Group at the University of Cambridge, and at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence. He received a PhD in computer science from Columbia University,
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Further projects and collaborative plans in our AI programme will be developed further over the coming months.