UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has launched a second call for the world’s top researchers in artificial intelligence, designed to attract and retain the world’s best talent in the field. The call was announced by Digital Minister Chris Philp on March 23 at AI UK, the UK’s showcase for AI and data science research and collaboration, hosted by the Alain Turing National Institute for Data Science and AI.
The Turing AI Fellowships are a £46 million initiative created as part of the AI Sector Deal to attract, recruit and retain a substantial cohort of leading researchers and innovators at all stages of their careers. Fellows can work flexibly between academia and other sectors, with the aim of discovering and developing cutting-edge AI technologies to accelerate the impact of their research but also to drive the use of AI.
Investment in the Turing AI Fellowships is made in partnership by:
- Office for AI
- The Alan Turing Institute, the national institute for data science and AI.
Professor Sir Adrian Smith, Director of the Alan Turing Institute, said:
“Inspired by Alan Turing’s legacy, the UK already attracts many of the most internationally renowned talents in the field of AI, and these fellowships will enable some of our brightest minds, across a range of disciplines, to ensure that AI research continues to have a positive and transformative impact.”
25 Turing AI Fellows have been supported by UK government funding to date, five of whom have received the prestigious Turing AI World-Leading Researcher awards. These five world-renowned AI researchers are benefiting from significant support programs to enable the creation of centers of excellence in key areas of AI research.
- Professor Neil Lawrence, University of Cambridge, Senior Turing AI Fellow Professor Lawrence’s world-renowned work focuses on the design of machine learning systems, ensuring that performance monitoring, interpretability, and fairness are key principles of the ecosystem. He was also recently appointed DeepMind Professor of Machine Learning at the University of Cambridge and is a member of the UK AI Council.
- Dr. Maria Liakata, University of Warwick, Turing AI Fellow Dr. Liakata’s work focuses on novel natural language processing methods to capture changes in user behavior over time. This work has direct applicability to mental health as it will help provide experts with evidence of personalized changes in mood and cognition resulting from daily use of digital technologies.
- Professor Yarin Gal, University of Oxford, Turing AI Fellow Professor Gal is working to democratize safe and robust AI, creating community challenges derived from real-world applications of AI in industry to help develop new safe and robust AI tools for responsible use in industry.
- Professor Anna Scaife, University of Manchester, Turing AI Fellow Professor Scaife focuses on AI for discovery in astrophysics and will, for example, ensure that the rarest and most extreme astrophysical objects are not rejected or missed in our processing of images captured from space.
- Dr. Tim Dodwell, University of Exeter, Turing AI Fellow Dr. Dodwell’s work addresses the challenge of building a more sustainable aerospace industry, the benefits of which will not only enable the aerospace industry to build faster, lighter and more durable aircraft for the future, but also provide new applications in the high-value manufacturing sector and the wider scientific communities.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said at the time:
“As the home of Alan Turing, the father of artificial intelligence, the UK enjoys a global competitive advantage in AI, and the Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Awards will ensure we continue to attract and retain the world’s most talented AI innovators. Supported to the tune of £18 million, these five outstanding researchers will use AI to tackle the major societal challenges of our time that could improve the way we live and work, from personalized medicine to autonomous vehicles, while cementing the UK’s status as a global player. scientific superpower.”
The Data Minister clarified on this second call:
“As the Minister who launched this strategy in September, I would be remiss if I did not express how proud I am of the work that has been done since the strategy was published. In a short space of time we have taken significant steps to keep the UK at the forefront of AI; I am pleased to announce that we are launching our second call for Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellowships. We are making available up to £20 million of funding across two rounds, which will support outstanding AI researchers to advance AI through cutting-edge research programs.
This is part of a strategic investment by the government to retain, attract and develop AI research talent; the new fellowships will join the existing cohort of 25 Turing AI Fellowships awarded to date, including five world-class fellowships, which have been awarded to date.”
Applications for this second call will open soon.