University wins funding to develop next generation of Artificial Intelligence leaders

Swansea University will be at the forefront of the global revolution in Artificial Intelligence after being awarded funding from the UK government to create one of 16 new Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) in Artificial Intelligence.

It is part of a £100m investment by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) aimed at enabling a new generation of PhD students to use AI technology to improve healthcare, tackle climate change, analyse Big Data and create new commercial opportunities. 

The UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Advanced Computing will be led by Swansea University’s Professor Gert Aarts of the Department of Physics, working with the Universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Bristol and Cardiff, as well as Supercomputing Wales and a range of external partners, including large multinationals and locally based SMEs.

Artificial intelligence

Professor Aarts said: “We are delighted our bid to create this CDT has been successful and are very excited to be playing such a crucial role in this important field.

“Our CDT will enhance the skills set of our doctoral students, via training delivered in partnership with Supercomputing Wales and our external partners.

“As is well known, AI nowadays underpins a wide range of activities, from the discovery of gravitational waves to the detection of breast cancer; our students will contribute to these exciting developments via state-of-the-art research projects, which cover fundamental particle physics and astronomy, the health and clinical sciences, and novel ideas in mathematical, physical and computer science.

“As a particle physicist by training, I am particularly pleased by the fact that we will be able to bring together research carried out at large STFC-funded science facilities such as the Large Hadron Collider and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, with research in the medical and computer science areas, enabling our doctoral researchers to make an impact across a wide range of disciplines and industries.” 

The UKRI project will see1,000 new PhDs created to drive the development of AI. They will be working with 300 project partners who are investing £78 million in cash or in-kind contributions and partner universities are committing a further £23 million, resulting in an overall investment of more than £100 million.

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. 

“Artificial intelligence has great potential to drive up productivity and enhance every industry throughout our economy, from 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.” 

The 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.

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport, said: “To maintain its leadership in AI, the UK will need a new generation of researchers, business leaders and entrepreneurs equipped with new skills. Working with partners across academia and industry, the centres announced today will provide the foundations for these future leaders.” 

Find out more about the UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning & Advanced Computing

Other centres announced are:

  • UKRI AI Centre for Doctoral Training in Foundational Artificial Intelligence, UCL; 
  • UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in AI-enabled Healthcare Systems, UCL; 
  • UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Environmental Intelligence: Data Science and AI for Sustainable Futures, University of Exeter;
  • UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Natural Language Processing, University of Edinburgh; 
  • UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Artificial Intelligence and Music,  Queen Mary University of London; 
  • UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Speech and Language Technologies and their Applications, University of Sheffield; 
  • UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Artificial Intelligence for Healthcare, Imperial College London; 
  • UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Accountable, Responsible and Transparent AI, University of Bath; 
  • UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Machine Intelligence for Nano-electronic Devices and Systems, University of Southampton;
  • UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Biomedical Artificial Intelligence;  
  • University of Edinburgh; 
  • UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Social Intelligent Artificial Agents (SOCIAL
  • University of Glasgow; 
  • UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Interactive Artificial Intelligence, University of Bristol; 
  • UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Application of Artificial Intelligence to the study of Environmental Risks (AI4ER), University of Cambridge; 
  • UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Safe and Trusted Artificial Intelligence; 
  • King’s College London; and, 
  • UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Artificial Intelligence for Medical Diagnosis and Care, University of Leeds