Edinburgh Infectious Diseases
EID logo 2019

University of Edinburgh to host new centre of postgraduate training in Biomedical Artificial Intelligence

Postgraduate programmes in artificial intelligence at the University are being supported as part of a package of funding announced by the UK Government.

Computer network with human head
New investment by UKRI will create centres for postgraduate training in Biomedical Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing.

Technology developments

Researchers in the new centres will aim to support the understanding and development of devices and technologies that use AI, training the next generation of experts in AI and building on the UK’s reputation for emerging technologies.

These new tecnnologies can enable complex tasks to be completed quickly and help to extract useful insights from large quantities of information. 

Artificial intelligence is a disruptive technology in a range of sectors, enabling new products and services and transforming data science.

Professor Sir Mark WalportUK Research and Innovation Chief Executive

Biomedical Artificial Intelligence

UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Biomedical Artificial Intelligence will seek to develop techniques to extract knowledge from biomedical data sets, with potential impact for public health and the economy.

Meriem El Karoui and Guido Sanguinetti
Meriem El Karoui and Guido Sanguinetti who will lead the new Biomedical AI Centre with Chris Ponting.

The Centre is led by Guido Sanguinetti from the School of Informatics, alongside Meriem El Karoui in the School of Biological Sciences and Chris Ponting at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine. 

The training for students on the programme will help spearhead development and deployment of AI techniques in the biomedical sector, nurturing a new cadre of interdisciplinary scientists who will lead AI research over the next decades.

The training programme will enable students to innovate in AI while addressing problems with direct translational relevance to biomedical challenges such as the emergence of antimicrobial resistance within infection and cancer

It will focus on the technical, biomedical and socio-ethical aspects of biomedical AI.

Natural Language Processing

The  UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Natural Language Processing, will aim to support greater understanding of human language processes, to allow AI to respond to the reality of human speech.

The Centre, led by Professor Mirella Lapata of the School of Informatics, will develop expertise and research related to recognising or producing speech, retrieving documents or facts and responding to commands.

It will also focus on summarising articles, translating text, and simplifying texts.

National investment

Both are among 16 newly created centres in the UK, across the fields of industry, healthcare and climate change.

Experts at the centres will work with a total of 300 partners including Google, Rolls-Royce and AstraZeneca, supporting 1,000 PhD students.

The initiative is funded by £100m investment from UK Research and Innovation with £78 million in cash or in-kind contributions from project partners and £23 million from partner universities.

Related links

School of Informatics

Guido Sanguinetti lab website

Meriem el Karoui website

Chris Ponting website