In the leadup to the AI Safety Summit held at Bletchley Park last week, Imperial burnished its own credentials in the sector, hosting Science Secretary Michelle Donelan; announcing a £28m centre to train AI researchers; and releasing a statement outlining its position on ‘AI-driven innovation.’.
A week prior to the summit, Imperial partnered with think tank Onward to host Donelan’s keynote ‘Future of AI’ speech, outlining the UK’s ‘safety-first’ approach to AI.
On 31st October, Donelan visited the South Kensington campus to announce 12 new UKRI AI Centres for Doctoral Training, one of which will be based at Imperial. The College has been given £28 million to train PhD researchers to develop AI systems addressing healthcare challenges.
“The plans we are announcing today will future-proof our nation’s skills base, meaning we can reap the benefits of AI as it continues to develop,” she said.
She also heard from Imperial professors about how Imperial is already integrating AI into healthcare.
Professor Ferdinando Rodriguez y Baena, Co-Director of the Hamlyn Centre, showed Donelan how AI is being used to aid knee replacement surgery, and the Dyson School of Design Engineering showcased how AI can help teenage cochlear implant users.
On the first day of the summit, Imperial issued its ‘Statement on AI-Driven Innovation.’ It welcomed the UK government’s attempts to ‘build a new global consensus on AI safety’ and called upon the government to ‘draw from’ the UK’s ‘strong scientific and technical expertise in universities like Imperial’ to make the country ‘a global AI leader.’