Major AI ethics programme launched in UK first

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The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has announced a major £8.5m research programme on AI ethics and regulation, which will reportedly be the first of this scale in the UK.

The new programme will see researchers collaborate with industry experts and policymakers to investigate the ethical questions posed by AI.

The programme aims to build public trust and ensure the UK remains at the global forefront of the research, development and deployment of AI technology.

The ‘Enabling a Responsible AI Ecosystem’ programme is led by the AHRC, part of UK Research and Innovation, and is delivered in partnership with the Ada Lovelace Institute.

AI has the potential to create benefits across the economy and society, but comes with its own set of risks.

The collaborative project will involve researchers from a range of disciplines, including humanities and computer science, to gather a range of perspectives on ethical challenges.

Edwina Dunn, chair of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, said: “To truly realise the transformative benefits of AI, we need to build a world-leading ecosystem to ensure that these technologies develop in a way that earns public trust.

“A strong research environment will help to ensure that the UK can continue to make rapid progress in achieving the benefits of responsible AI.”

The programme aims to move beyond AI ethics frameworks and seeks to create practical recommendations for a range of AI applications, such as biometrics and facial recognition, big data analytics and healthcare diagnostics.

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