Fifteen of the UK’s top AI innovators are to receive millions in backing from the government to drive forward research across a range of new applications.

The UK’s Turing AI Acceleration Fellowships will back those researching everything from faster medical diagnosis to improved workplace productivity.

Among the fellows being backed is Professor Christopher Yau at The University of Manchester, who aims to use technology to predict the development of cancer before it has fully formed in the body.

Professor Yau said:  “I will be developing novel clinical information systems to provide cancer patients and clinicians with the very best genomics-guided personalised care to improve treatment effectiveness and survival rates. I am especially pleased to be working with a range of project partners, including Ovarian Cancer Action, to ensure that my research is conducted in partnership with patients.”

If successful, the technology will enable clinicians to track cancer more accurately and help them decide at an earlier stage what treatments patients require.

Other projects set to benefit include research into energy efficient data processing which could support key sectors such as energy, healthcare and finance.

Additionally, the development of an ‘AI clinical colleague’ could further support doctors by recommending the most effective drug prescriptions and doses for patients and helping them decide the best course of action for recovery.

Named after British tech pioneer Alan Turing, the £20m scheme will be delivered by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation, in partnership with the Alan Turing Institute and Office for Artificial intelligence.

Science Minister, Amanda Solloway said: “The UK is the birthplace of artificial intelligence and we have a duty to equip the next generation of Alan Turings with the tools that will keep the UK at the forefront of this remarkable technological innovation.

“The inspirational fellows we are backing today will use AI to tackle some of our greatest challenges head on, transforming how people live, work and communicate, cementing the UK’s status as a world leader in AI  and data.”

The Turing AI Acceleration Fellows are:

Professor Damien Coyle, University of Ulster – AI for Intelligent Neurotechnology and Human-Machine Symbiosis
Dr Jeff Dalton, University of Glasgow – Neural Conversational Information Seeking Assistant
Dr Theo Damoulas, University of Warwick – Machine Learning Foundations of Digital Twins
Professor Aldo Faisal, Imperial College – Reinforcement Learning for Healthcare
Professor Yulan He, University of Warwick – Event-Centric Framework for Natural Language Understanding
Dr Jose Miguel Hernandez Lobato, University of Cambridge – Machine Learning for Molecular Design
Dr Antonio Hurtado, University of Strathclyde – PHOTONics for Ultrafast Artificial Intelligence
Dr Per Lehre, University of Birmingham – Rigorous Time-Complexity Analysis of Co-evolutionary Algorithms
Professor Giovanni Montana, University of Warwick – Advancing Multi-Agent Deep Reinforcement Learning for Sequential Decision Making in Real-World Applications
Dr Christopher Nemeth, Lancaster University: Probabilistic Algorithms for Scalable and Computable Approaches to Learning (PASCAL)
Dr Raul Santos-Rodriguez, University of Bristol – Interactive Annotations in AI
Dr Sebastian Stein, University of Southampton – Citizen-Centric AI Systems
Dr Ivan Tyukin, University of Leicester – Adaptive, Robust and Resilient AI Systems for the FuturE
Dr Adrian Weller, University of Cambridge – Trustworthy Machine Learning
Professor Christopher Yau, The University of Manchester – clinAIcan – Developing Clinical Applications of Artificial Intelligence for Cancer