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University of Glasgow launches Centre for data science and AI

Scottish university will apply artificial intelligence and data science to help solve some of the world's biggest challenges

The University of Glasgow has opened a centre dedicated to supporting its research in data science and artificial intelligence (AI), bringing together hundreds of academics with expertise in different disciplines.

The Centre for Data Science will support the university’s efforts to address challenges such as climate change and inequality, through data science and AI.

Data science and AI researchers at the university are already supported by more than £100m in funding in research areas such as­­­­ precision medicine and digital health, quantum computing, big data collection, and efforts to model and mitigate the effects of climate change. 

There will be six programmes of research: data and AI-driven advances in engineering and the physical sciences; medical, veterinary and life sciences; economic and social sciences; arts and the humanities; innovation; and a programme to support fundamental research in data science and AI across the university. 

Ana Basiri, director of the University of Glasgow’s College of Science and Engineering, who will head up the centre, said there is no shortage of funds being made available for researchers in AI and data science: “Having recognised potentials and impacts of AI, the UK government recently made a billion-pound pledge to support new advances in supercomputers and artificial intelligence.

“Other governments, funders and companies around the world are making similarly large-scale investments in technologies which will shape our lives and our futures. The University of Glasgow is a key player in this landscape, and our new centre will bring together experts from across disciplines to work more strategically to tackle the grand challenges of our time.

“In the years to come, we’ll be working to advance new research projects, which help put data science at the heart of decision-making, to teach staff new skills to help them do their jobs more effectively, and to partner with industry to build new products and services using fresh insight gathered from their data streams.

“The centre will also be act as a single gateway to governments to link in with wider ecosystem of AI across the UK and around the world.” 

Richard Lochhead, Scotland’s innovation minister, said Scotland’s government wants the country to be a world leader in the development and use of artificial intelligence “in a way which is trustworthy, ethical and inclusive”, adding: “To do so, we must rise to the challenges and opportunities, which will be felt across our economy and society.” 

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