School of Informatics

AI scientists team up with Japanese experts

University scientists are to collaborate with three major Japanese research institutes on artificial intelligence and robotics.

Edinburgh experts are taking part in the initiative through their involvement in the Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national centre for data science and artificial intelligence.

Leading centres

The Turing Institute has initiated agreements with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), one of the largest research centres in Japan focusing on bridging the gap between research ideas and commercialisation.

It is also entering an agreement with National Institute of Informatics (NII), an inter-university academic research institute working to advance research and development in informatics-related fields.

Researchers will also work with the RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project, funded by the Japanese government to advance AI technologies and explore their ethical, legal and social impact.


Japan is renowned for its world-leading work in robotics, and the UK, given its established excellence in artificial intelligence research, is well placed to collaborate and bring together these two exciting research communities.

Professor Sethu VijayakumarSchool of Informatics, University of Edinburgh and Programme Co-Director for Artificial Intelligence, Alan Turing Institute

International development

The Turing's collaborative agreements with Japan are part of a wider UK Government announcement relating to new scientific collaborations between the two countries in the fields of robotics, ethical use of data and medical research.

Joint activities between the Turing and the three organisations will include researcher exchange placements, developing joint proposals for research projects and spearheading networking and knowledge exchange activities.

Workshops are to take place later this year to identify initial projects.

The collaboration is part of a wider programme of international engagement for the Alan Turing Institute, and follows engagement with countries including France, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the US, Finland and Singapore.  

Through this initiative, we will address several machine learning and data science challenges arising from and towards deployment of robotics and autonomous systems and AI technologies for solving socially relevant problems across domains. Focus on ensuring ethical, safe, verifiable and secure systems will form a key backbone, areas in which Turing scientists provide proven leadership.

Professor Sethu VijayakumarSchool of Informatics, University of Edinburgh and Programme Co-Director for Artificial Intelligence, Alan Turing Institute

Related links

Study undergraduate Computing Science (Informatics) at the University of Edinburgh

Study postgraduate Computing and Informatics at the University of Edinburgh

Alan Turing Institute research on AI

National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology

National Institute of Informatics

RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project

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