UKRI Responsible and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence

Closing Date: 11/01/2023

Funding is available to support the creation of a consortium of leading academics and practitioners for advancing the UK’s position on the development and deployment of responsible and trustworthy AI.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has launched this opportunity to fund a leadership team to play a key role in driving the UK’s responsible and trustworthy (R&T) artificial intelligence (AI) agenda, building a diverse and inclusive community across disciplines and sectors.

The leadership team is intended to provide the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary leadership for the area across the UK and through influence internationally. It will lead the UK agenda and build a unified community of technical, sociotechnical, societal, and humanities communities or foci researchers in responsible trustworthy AI.

The group will connect ongoing research, including the different relevant elements funded under the individual councils’ investments in AI, and in particular including embedding responsibility and trust in:

  • AI technologies.
  • Standards and regulations.
  • Digital society.
  • Responsible AI implementation.
  • Adoption and diffusion for businesses and in the economy.

The leadership team will convene and fund world-leading research and innovation in this area. This will lead to the development of new capabilities and understandings that ensure AI technologies are responsible and trustworthy as they are designed with an understanding of the real-world context in which they will be used.

The investment will develop public dialogues on AI, its use, its future, its implications and embed public engagement in AI research and innovation. It will bring together technical researchers, humanities and social science researchers and users of AI to bring together a UK wide and international community in R&T AI.

Alongside and combined with the technology development, the programme should have plans to address technical, sociotechnical, societal, cultural and ethical challenges in AI development and deployment which addresses:

  • AI governance (policies, regulations and standards).
  • Digital society and diffusion through the economy.
  • AI adoption.

The investment seeks to provide the UK with a strategic advantage in developing and deploying the approaches and technologies necessary to enable R&T AI to realise benefits for people, the planet, and the economy. The programme will do this through the convening of a leadership team from across relevant disciplines and a supporting team.

While the leadership team should be drawn from a diverse range of disciplines, communities, affiliations, organisations and backgrounds, the programme must be focused on coherence and co-creation. It will combine technology development that embeds trust and responsibility and deliver social benefits led technology implementation and education.

The team itself will be recognised as having the skills, experience, potential and proven track record to scope, co-create and deliver impactful and innovative research. They will co-create interventions that enable the development and deployment of new or adapted AI technologies to support social, environmental, and economic benefits in the UK and internationally. They will be supported by a core team comprising:

  • Academics.
  • Investment managers and practitioners representing the interests of industry.
  • Government.
  • Academia.
  • The broader AI ecosystem.

The leadership team will be from a diverse range of academic institutions, policy advisory groups and commercial enterprises with geographical spread around the UK. The team will be reflective of the strengths represented around the UK, nationally and locally. The group is expected to have:

  • Core R&T AI science and engineering leadership, with an in-depth understanding of relevant disciplines, technologies, policy challenges and evidence needs.
  • Thematic expertise reflecting the communities that will be engaged in the investment.
  • An ability to engage with diverse stakeholders, including non-academics.
  • An ability to articulate a clear vision for engagement with communities working in this area and new partners from within the appropriate disciplines or elsewhere.
  • An ability to deliver complex projects to time, considering the variety of activities and outputs.
  • Specialist expertise (academic or non-academic) to support the desired outcomes, which may include sector representatives, programme management expertise, a communications function, and knowledge mobilisation expertise.
  • Ability to work collaboratively across disciplines and diverse stakeholder groups, including approaches to stakeholder engagement.

Grants will start on 1 May 2023 and run for five years to 31 March 2028. By the end of the investment period, this investment should have enabled an AI ecosystem that supports the UK’s transition to an AI-enabled economy, resulting in growth, prosperity, and mutual benefit for sectors and citizens.

Funding body Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Maximum value £25,000,000
Reference ID S24574
Category Science and Technology
Arts and Humanities
Engineering and Physical Sciences
Fund or call Fund