Zoubin Ghahramani, Professor of Information Engineering, has been awarded one of the first Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellowships to conduct groundbreaking work on Artificial Intelligence’s (AI) biggest challenges.
The Turing AI Fellowships provide a fantastic opportunity to grow the UK's research talent in AI, and to build stronger relationships between industry and academia.Professor Zoubin Ghahramani
In an announcement made today (30 July) by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), five internationally recognised researchers, including Professor Ghahramani, were named as the new fellows, as part of the UK's commitment to further strengthen its position as a global leader in the AI field.
Professor Ghahramani is a Distinguished Researcher at Google, former Chief Scientist at Uber and a Fellow of the Royal Society. In his fellowship, named after AI pioneer Alan Turing, he and his team aim to develop the new algorithms and applications needed to address limitations faced by the AI systems that underpin many technologies, such as speech recognition and autonomous vehicles. This includes ensuring that they can better adapt to new data, and apply data-driven machine learning approaches to simulators to understand complex systems.
Professor Ghahramani will hold the fellowship jointly while continuing to work at Google. Collaborator Dr Ferenc Huszár, Senior Lecturer in Machine Learning, at the Department of Computer Science and Technology, will join him as co-investigator in the research project titled Advancing Modern Data-Driven Robust AI. It has UKRI support of £2.6 million and a total project partner contribution of £1.45 million. The project partners are Graphcore, Invenia Labs, Tractable Ltd, and Wayve Technologies Ltd, and the work will be conducted in the Department of Engineering and the Department of Computer Science and Technology.
“I am delighted to be awarded this fellowship and grateful to UKRI for its support of fundamental AI research in the UK,” said Professor Ghahramani. “The Turing AI Fellowships provide a fantastic opportunity to grow the UK's research talent in AI, and to build stronger relationships between industry and academia.
“Most modern AI systems are based on machine learning technology that learns from patterns in data. This research programme aims to improve such systems by making them more robust and reliable, so that they can better respond to changing circumstances, and better incorporate prior knowledge, symbolic reasoning and data.”
The fellowships are being delivered by UKRI’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
EPSRC Executive Chair, Professor Dame Lynn Gladden, said: “The Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellowships recognise internationally leading researchers in AI, and provide the support needed to tackle some of the biggest challenges and opportunities in AI research.
“These fellowships enable the UK to attract top international talent to the UK as well as retaining our own world-leaders. Attracting and retaining top talent is essential to keep the UK at the leading edge of AI research and innovation.”
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “As home to Alan Turing, the father of AI, the UK boasts a globally competitive advantage in AI, and the Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellowships will ensure that we continue to attract and retain the world’s most talented AI innovators.
“Backed to the tune of £18 million, these five outstanding researchers will use AI to tackle the great societal challenges of our time that could improve how we live and work, from personalised medicine to autonomous vehicles, all while cementing the UK’s status as a global science superpower.”
Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said: “These five internationally recognised researchers appointed as the first Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellows will help enable us to attract top talent from across the globe and ensure that the UK stays at the forefront of AI research and innovation. This expertise will increase the UK’s capabilities in AI and equip us to face greater and more complex challenges.”
Adapted from a UKRI press release.