Artificial intelligence research projects get £20m boost

Artificial intelligence (AI) projects including research into the early detection of cancer have received £20 million in funding from the Government.

The Turing AI Acceleration Fellowships have been awarded to 15 researchers using AI on innovative and diverse projects, including on energy efficient data processing and increasing workplace productivity.

The fellows include Professor Christopher Yau, at the University of Manchester, who aims to use artificial intelligence technology to predict cancer development inside the body before it has fully formed.

Professor Damien Coyle, from Ulster University, has also been given a fellowship for his work developing AI technology for use in wearable neurotechnology.

By measuring signals from the brain without needing movement, the technology could help people who are unable to communicate after a serious injury or illness.

Named after Alan Turing, the wartime code-breaker and pioneer of computer science, the fellowships are part of Government investment in AI skills and research.

They will be delivered by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of UK Research and Innovation, in partnership with the Alan Turing Institute and the Government’s Office for Artificial Intelligence.

Science minister Amanda Solloway said: “The UK is the birthplace of artificial intelligence and we have a duty to equip the next generation of Alan Turings with the tools that will keep the UK at the forefront of this remarkable technological innovation.

“The inspirational fellows we are backing today will use AI to tackle some of our greatest challenges head on, transforming how people live, work and communicate, cementing the UK’s status as a world leader in AI and data.”

EPSRC executive chair Professor Dame Lynn Gladden said: “The Turing AI Acceleration Fellowships will support some of our leading researchers to progress their careers and develop groundbreaking AI technologies with societal impact.

“By enhancing collaboration between academia and industry and accelerating these transformative technologies, they will help to maintain and build on the UK’s position as a world leader in AI.”

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