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Turing Institute launches data science and AI strategy


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Alan Turing Institute has launched a new strategy for the use of data science and AI in dealing with issues high on the public policy agenda.

It said they will support researchers in public services areas such as healthcare and national security, and on the impact of digitisation on business, finance, the measurement of the economy, regulation and ethics.

It is also aimed at ensuring data science and AI leaders of the future are equipped with the necessary technical and professional skills to match the UK’s industrial and societal needs.

The strategy is centred on a series of grand challenges in areas such as the use of machine learning and predictive analytics.

 It also involves the identification of key capability areas including foundational technologies such as digital twins and large language models.

The Turing Institute – the national institute for data science and AI – said the strategy builds on its earlier research and responds to the dramatic rise in computer power with the release of large language models such as GhatGPT. It also aims to address the risks posed by AI when used without transparent processes and good human oversight.

Rapid and unpredictable advance

Sir Adrian Smith, the institute’s director, said: “Data science and AI technologies are advancing rapidly and evolving in unpredictable ways. The speed of these developments is making it increasingly difficult to connect the right people, ideas and data required to make progress on important national and global problems. 

“Our strategy aims to address this by encouraging collaboration and developing solutions that will speed up the transfer of skills and knowledge between sectors and inform the public and policymakers on the issues that matter most.”

The launch of the strategy has taken place shortly after the Government announced a new £370 million Science and Technology Framework to fund areas such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence. Its designation of AI as one of the three transformational technologies recognises its fundamental role in addressing the societal challenges like those outlined in the document. 

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