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Support for AI boosts postgraduate researchers

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

The investment will create centres for postgraduate training in Natural Language Processing and in Biomedical Artificial Intelligence.

It forms part of a drive to train the next generation of experts in AI (Artificial Intelligence) and build on the UK’s reputation for emerging technologies.

Technology developments

Researchers at the centres will aim to support the understanding and development of devices and technologies that use AI.

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

One of the two newly funded centres at Edinburgh, 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.

In addition, the 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.

The centre, led by Professor Guido Sanguinetti of the School of Informatics, aims to spearhead the development and deployment of AI techniques in the biomedical sector.

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

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.

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

Related links

School of Informatics

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

Study postgraduate Computing and Informatics at the University of Edinburgh

Centre for Doctoral Training in Natural Language Processing

Centre for Doctoral Training in Biomedical Artificial Intelligence