UKRI launches second call for top AI researchers

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has launched a second call for the world’s top artificial intelligence researchers, designed to attract and retain the world’s best talent in this field. The call was announced by Minister for Digital Chris Philp on March 23 at AI UK, the UK’s showcase for AI and data science research and collaboration, hosted by the National Institute for Data Science and AI Alain Turing.

The Turing AI Fellowships are a £46 million initiative created under the AI ​​Sector Deal aimed at attracting, recruiting and retaining a substantial cohort of leading researchers and innovators at all stages of their careers. Fellows can work flexibly between academia and other sectors, their goal being to discover and develop cutting-edge AI technologies to accelerate the impact of their research but also to foster the use of AI.

Investment in Turing AI scholarships is made in partnership by:

  • UKRI
  • 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 the legacy of Alan Turing, the UK already attracts many of the most internationally renowned talent in AI, and these scholarships will enable some of our brightest minds, in a range of disciplines, to ensure that AI research continues to have a positive and transformative effect. »

25 Turing AI Fellows (AI Fellows) have been supported by UK government funding to date, five of them have been awarded the prestigious Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellowships. These five world-renowned AI researchers benefit 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, globally known for his 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 new methods of natural language processing 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 works 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 is focused on AI for discovery in astrophysics and will for example ensure that the rarest and most extreme astrophysical objects are not discarded 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 aviation 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 high value-added manufacturing and in 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 has a global competitive advantage in AI, and the Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellowships will allow us to continue to attract and retain the world’s most talented AI innovators. Backed with £18 million, these five outstanding researchers will use AI to address the grand societal challenges of our time that could improve the way we live and work, from personalized medicine to autonomous vehicles, while consolidating the UK’s status as a global player. scientific superpower. »

The Minister of Data clarified during 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 accomplished since the publication of the strategy. In a short time, we have taken significant steps to keep the UK at the forefront of AI; I am happy to announce that we are launching our second call for the Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellowships. We are making available up to £20 million in funding across two rounds, which will support outstanding AI researchers to advance AI through cutting-edge research programs.

This is part of a strategic government investment 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-renowned research fellowships, that have been awarded to date. »

Applications for this second call will be open soon.

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UKRI launches second call for top AI researchers


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