Slate statue of Alan Turing in Bletchley
Slate statue of Alan Turing in Bletchley

Two Oxford University professors appointed first Turing Artificial Intelligence Research Fellows

Five internationally recognised researchers have been appointed as the first Turing Artificial Intelligence (AI) World-Leading Researcher Fellows including two from Oxford University, Professor Philip Torr and Professor Michael Wooldridge.  

The fellowships, named after AI pioneer Alan Turing, are part of the UK’s commitment to further strengthen its position as a global leader in the field.

Professor Torr is a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Royal Academy of Engineering and founder of spin-out Oxsight and AIstetic.

Deep neural networks imitate human intelligence and are capable of learning from huge amounts of data. They have a wide range of applications, from fraud detection and visual recognition to self-driving cars, but their limitations are becoming increasingly evident. These include a vulnerability to adversarial examples, where data is presented with the intent to cause AI models to make mistakes

Professor Torr will create a new centre of excellence through his fellowship. The centre will make deep learning reliable, robust and deployable as well as capable of efficiently handling the enormous quantities of data they will be fed with. 'These fellowships are emblematic of the ground-breaking AI research taking place in the UK and offer an opportunity to address long-standing challenges in the field.'

Professor Wooldridge is Head of Computer Science at Oxford, co-programme Director for AI at The Alan Turing Institute, a recipient of the British Computer Society’s Lovelace Medal and a Fellow of four AI and computing societies and associations.

Professor Wooldridge aims to improve the agent-based AI models that are increasingly used in sectors such as financial modelling and logistics. His team has previously used agent-based models to understand the causes of catastrophic collapses in global markets, so called “flash crashes”, and they will continue this work in the project.

Speaking after receiving news of his appointment Professor Wooldridge commented, 'Agent-based modelling is an old idea, but one that has really started to show promise recently. The fellowship will give me a unique opportunity to advance the science and technology of agent-based modelling along a broad range of directions.’