AI in Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh has been leading in AI since the early 1960s as the birthplace of European AI. Today, it is one of Europe’s largest centres for AI research, where several hundreds of researchers conduct groundbreaking research in fundamental and applied AI across the University.
We aim to augment digital technologies with intelligent capabilities to make people’s lives better and address the great challenges of humanity. This involves working across all disciplines to carefully translate emerging technologies into social good through collaboration with external partners and broad engagement with society.
This intranet site provides information about the University's AI strategy & pointers to current activities and opportunities to engage for University staff and students.
Artificial Intelligence seeks to endow machines with capabilities that we normally associate with human or animal intelligence - such as learning, reasoning, communicating, and acting in the physical and social world.
At the University of Edinburgh, we conduct research on all aspects of AI: fundamental research on new AI innovations, research on AI applications to benefit society, and the critical study of the implications of AI and its adoption.
As AI matures, issues about its responsible use and impact are intensely debated. There are difficult futures to navigate around the use of AI, and researchers across many relevant disciplines at the University are deeply engaged in multidisciplinary research initiatives to address these.
The University trains several hundreds of undergraduate and postgraduate students in AI each year. We host many Centres for Doctoral Training and provide online MOOCs, short courses, and lifelong learning programmes on a range of key topics related to AI and data science.
Despite impressive advancements in AI, we are still a long way away from creating systems that can perform complex activities autonomously in real-world domains. We must now focus on integrating existing techniques within a context of autonomy that combines sensing, reasoning, and acting in order to overcome this roadblock, and to unlock the potential of developing truly transformative applications in key domains.
AI has the potential to transform the ways in which other scientific disciplines work and to deliver great societal benefits through a range of applications that can help tackle major global challenges. We are establishing research clusters, centres, and major projects with external partners that bring multidisciplinary teams together to advance the use of AI in many domains from health and finance to engineering, climate science, agriculture and the humanities.
Through our £660 million Data-Driven Innovation Programme we are establishing five major innovation hubs, each focusing on different sectors. These underpin the University’s commitment to grow its research capability in data and AI across the entire institution and to enable all disciplines and sectors to benefit from emerging technologies.
Translating AI research to impact through industry adoption and the creation of new businesses is at the heart of the University’s approach to AI. We provide a range of support to the University community and AI start-ups from around the world to drive innovation and adoption of emerging technologies in the economy, attract investment to the UK, and create high-value jobs.
- Video: OpportunityMatch Video
- OpportunityMatch Video
Explore our AI-driven search tool to find academic expertise at the University – an example of what off-the-shelf AI technologies can (and cannot) do today.
Find out more about our AI research institutes, relevant centres and institutes, and AI organisations we are part of.