Deputy Prime Minister sets out government plans for AI at Imperial

Hugh Brady & Deputy Prime Minister, Oliver Dowden MP
Hugh Brady & Deputy Prime Minister, Oliver Dowden MP
The Deputy Prime Minister, Oliver Dowden MP, visited Imperial today to deliver a major speech on the use of AI in public services.

"I can think of no place I would rather be to deliver this speech than at Imperial." Oliver Dowden MP Deputy Prime Minister

The UK has the potential to become a leader in the deployment of AI in the public sector, the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) said, increasing productivity, reducing cost and better public services. This focus on the opportunities of AI, follows the AI Safety Summit in November, which brought together governments and tech companies to agree how to regulate the most powerful AI models.


The Minister announced plans to spend £110m to roll out uses of AI in public services. As part of this, he announced plans for an AI Collaboration Charter with the NHS. With AI pilots already taking place in many areas of health, such as diagnostics, tailoring medicine to individuals based on genetics. Imperial is already leading efforts to embed AI into healthcare, hosting the £28m UKRI AI Centre for Doctoral Training. Announced in November 2023, the Centre will train the next generation of PhD-level researchers to develop AI systems that address healthcare challenges.

Introducing the DPM, Imperial’s President, Professor Hugh Brady, said "AI technologies are ushering in a transformative era, offering unparalleled potential to reshape society. Imperial has the combined power of over 1,000 researchers across all’our faculties and disciplines working to accelerate the safe and productive development and deployment of AI and is working hand in hand with partners across government and industry to ensure the benefits are realised by all."

The Deputy Prime Minister also met Dr Lorenzo Picinali, Reader in Audio Experience Design, and Dr Katharina Pollock, PDRA, at the Dyson School of Design Engineering, who showcased how AI can be used to support cochlear implant users.

Imperial has the combined power of over 1,000 researchers across all’our faculties and disciplines working to accelerate the safe and productive development and deployment of AI." Professsor Hugh Brady President, Imperial College London

Following the speech, leading figures from industry, academia and central government held a roundtable on the key priorities to deploy AI in the public sector. The group, which included Imperial Professors Aldo Faisel and Tom Coates, discussed what conditions were needed for its success and the vital role that the private sector can play in this. As we start to realise the opportunities there may be, the need to bring data science and AI skills into government will grow and the role that Imperial, and other universities, can play in facilitating this will be vital.

Imperial and AI

Imperial has recently been very successful in new calls in AI:

    Last week it was announced that Imperial will co-lead a £10m AI hub that will develop frameworks for understanding machine learning models. Dr Anthea Monod is the lead of the Imperial College Node, and the consortium will study the mathematical and computational underpinnings of AI using pure mathematics.

    In early February it was announced that Imperial will co-lead a new £12m research hub to develop state of the art AI for Chemistry. The potential of AI-enabled technologies to revolutionise chemistry is huge, and the Hub, lead by Professor Kim Jelfs, will use AI-enabled technologies such as machine learning, automation and robotics to support faster chemistry discoveries.

Imperial’s Data Science Institute provides foundational expertise in data science and engineering. Our new digital foundry I-X is driving transformations in AI, data science and digital technologies to address interdisciplinary challenges and support novel industrial collaborations, and is part of the Schmidt Futures Fellowship programme supporting the next generation of leaders in AI.

Imperial is leading the development of the next generation of AI skills through our two Centres for Doctoral Training ( AI for Health ; and AI for Digital Healthcare) and half the Directors of Science and Innovation at the UK’s national institute for data science and AI, the Alan Turing Institute, will be from Imperial. Our AI ecosystem is strengthened by research collaborations with industry leaders such as GSK, Thomson Reuters and Amazon Web Services and supports AI-based startups across a range of sectors including healthcare and drug discovery, energy systems, autonomous vehicles, financial services and education technologies.

Additionally, our Science Policy Fellowship scheme brings policy makers working on AI across government together with the deep technical and regulatory expertise of our researchers.

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