Turing AI Fellowship: AI for Intelligent Neurotechnology and Human-Machine Symbiosis

Lead Research Organisation: University of Ulster
Department Name: Sch of Computing & Intelligent Systems

Abstract

Wearable neurotechnology utilization is expected to increase dramatically in the coming years, with applications in enabling movement-independent control and communication, rehabilitation, treating disease and improving health, recreation and sport among others. There are multiple driving forces:- continued advances in underlying science and technology; increasing demand for solutions to repair the nervous system; increase in the ageing population worldwide producing a need for solutions to age-related, neurodegenerative disorders, and "assistive" brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies; and commercial demand for nonmedical BCIs. There is a significant opportunity for the UK to lead in the development of AI-enabled neurotechnology R&D.

There are a number of key challenges to be addressed, mainly associated with the complexity of signals measured from the brain. AI has the potential to revolutionise the neurotechnology industry and neurotechnology presents an excellent challenge for AI. This fellowship will build on the award-winning AI and neurotechnology research of the fellow and offer real potential for impact through established clinical partnerships and in the neurotechnology industry.

The objective of this project is to build on award-winning AI and neurotechnology R&D to address key shortcomings of neurotechnology that limit its widespread use and adoption using a range of key neural network technologies in a state-of-the-art framework for processing neural signals developed by the proposed fellow.

The AI technologies developed for neurotechnology will be applied across sectors to demonstrate translational AI through engagement with at least 10 companies across at least 5 sectors during the fellowship, to demonstrate societal and economic benefit and interdisciplinary and translational AI skills development. The project has multiple industry, clinical and academic partners and is expected to produce world-leading AI technologies and propel the fellow to world-leading status in developing AI for neurotechnology which will impact widely.

A major focus of the project is ensuring the expectations of the fellow role are met. This includes:-
-Ensuring the processes and resources are in place to build a world-leading profile by the end of the fellowship;
-Focusing on planning research of the team as new results emerge and hypothesis are tested, to refine and develop a high-quality programme of ambitious, novel and creative research, in AI-enabled Neurotechnology. Specific focus will be ensuring meticulous planning, execution and follow-up to produce world-leading results;
-Continuing to perform my leadership role as director of the ISRC and leader of the data analytics theme, expanding the team and actively seek to develop into a position of higher leadership of the research agenda at Ulster, and in the national and international research community;
-Focusing on strengthening relationships and collaborations with colleagues in industry and academia, and maximising the potential for flexible career paths for researchers within the team
-Acting as an ambassador and advocate for AI, science and ED&I including by continuing to actively provide opinions and engaging with questions around AI and ethics, and responsible research and innovation (RRI). A focus will be embedding this throughout the activities of the fellowship but across the region and internationally;
-Seeking to engage with and influence the strategic direction of the UK AI research and innovation landscape through engagement with their peers, policymakers, and other stakeholders including the public through.
-Ensuring that the fundamental research is developed to have a high likelihood of impact on UK society/economy through trials across a range of patient groups to develop the evidence base and transfer of intellectual property to products, in particular through NeuroCONCISE Ltd, a main project partner.

Publications

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