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STFC to use AI for experimental data

10/01/19

Mark Say Managing Editor

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has announced plans to use AI and machine learning to sort through the swathes of experimental data.

It said it will carry out the work in collaboration with the Alan Turing Institute, which has recently been awarded £40 million by UK Research and Innovation to fund research into using AI in the engineering, health, science and criminal justice sectors.

Tony Hey

STFC’s chief data scientist Tony Hey (pictured) will co-direct the project.

He said: “There are many areas of science that now generate such large volumes of data that processing it is laborious and inefficient. There is an opportunity here for us to use the tools of data science and AI to assist scientists create new scientific knowledge more quickly and efficiently.

“It is vital that the UK develops suitable systems for mining and exploiting data at our national experimental facilities in order to maintain its position at the forefront of the global research community.”

The project will be focused on applying AI and advanced machine learning to experimental data generated by the facilities at the Harwell Campus. This capability will be known as the Turing Hub and hosted at STFC’s Scientific Computing Department.

Funding from the institute covers the computer system and four data scientists. The hub will enable users of the facilities to utilise AI to collect and analyse their data, which is expected to significantly increase the efficiency and productivity of users from academia and industry.

Image from STFC

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