Turing AI Fellowship: Human-AI Research Teams - Steering AI in Experimental Design and Decision-Making

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Computer Science


Machine learning offers great promise in helping us solve problems by automatically learning solutions from data, without us having to specify all details of the solution as in earlier computational approaches. However, we still need to tell machine learning systems what problems we want them to solve, and this is currently undertaken by specifying desired outcomes and designing objective functions and rewards. Formulating the rewards for a new problem is not easy for us as humans, and is particularly difficult when we only partially know the goal, as is the case at the beginning of scientific research. In this programme we develop ways for machine learning systems to help humans to steer them in the process of collecting more information by designing experiments, interpreting what the results mean, and deciding what to measure next, to finally reach a conclusion and a trustworthy solution to the problem.

The machine learning techniques will be developed first for three practically important problems and then generalized to be broadly applicable. The first is diagnosis and treatment decision making in personalized medicine, the second steering of scientific experiments in synthetic biology and drug design, and the third design and use of digital twins in designing physical systems and processes. An AI centre of excellence will be established at the University of Manchester, in collaboration with the Turing Institute and a number of partners from the industry and healthcare sector, and with strong connections to the networks of best national and international AI researchers.


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