Bangor University is to take part in a new drive to create a thousand new research and business leaders. The project is designed to ensure that the UK leads the global revolution in Artificial Intelligence (AI).
A new generation of PhD students will use AI technology to improve healthcare, tackle climate change and create new commercial opportunities, thanks to a £100m investment from UK Research and Innovation announced recently.
The students will be trained at 16 new Centres for Doctoral Training (CSTs) based at 14 UK universities with 300 partners, including AstraZeneca, Google and Rolls-Royce, and NHS trusts. Project partners are investing £78m in cash or in-kind contributions and partner universities are committing a further £23m, resulting in an overall investment of more than £200m.
The students studying at Bangor will form part of the Swansea CDT.
Professor Jonathan Roberts is the academic leading the charge for Bangor University. He said:
“We are delighted to be working with Swansea, Aberystwyth, Cardiff and Bristol universities. This collaboration will help to develop the next generation of researchers in the areas of AI, Machine learning and advanced computing.
These three topics are already transforming our lives, such as how healthcare is delivered, and helping to tackle some of the global challenges facing the world today.
Bangor has a long history of research and teaching topics in Graphics, Visualisation, Artificial Intelligence and data science. From our undergraduate programmes in Computer Science that includes modules in each of these topics, to our dedicated Masters programmes in Visualisation and AI, to our new Data Science advanced computing Masters programme.”
Dean of Postgraduate Research at Bangor University, Professor John Turner, highlighted that:
“This CDT is aligned with Bangor University’s long-term postgraduate research strategy to increase research student numbers. The CDT fits well with our wider University strategy to invest in interdisciplinary and applied research, and business engagement.”
Business Secretary Greg Clark said:
“The UK has long been a nation of innovators and today’s package of AI skills and talent investment will help nurture leading UK and international talent to ensure we retain our world-beating reputation in research and development.
AI has the potential to drive up productivity and enhance every industry throughout our economy, for more effective disease diagnosis to building smart homes. Today’s announcement is our modern Industrial Strategy in action, investing in skills and talent to drive high skilled jobs, growth and productivity across the UK.”
AI could potentially transform the way we work and live, allowing complex tasks to be completed quickly and useful insights to be gleaned from large quantities of information.
One example is in healthcare, where AI is being developed to analyse information and images, such as X-ray scans, to pick up abnormalities at an earlier stage and ensure that patients can receive life-saving treatment.
This investment will sustain a pipeline of talent and ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of emerging technologies, supporting the commitment in the government’s AI Sector Deal. 200 new AI Masters places at UK universities and up to five new research fellows have also been announced. These have been created in collaboration with the Alan Turing Institute to retain and attract top AI talent in UK academic institutions.