The first formal collaboration between the UK and Japan in the fields of robotics, AI and the ethical use of data, to emerge since the UK government’s announcement earlier this year, is being held today (19 September 2019) at The Alan Turing Institute (the UK’s national institute for data science and AI). The aim of the workshop is to help to break down barriers faced by both nations’ innovative businesses.

Both the UK and Japanese centres of excellence in AI and data science are coming together to share solutions on using large amounts of data legally, ethically and safely, while making fundamental breakthroughs in fast, scalable, federated deployment of algorithms.

Some key areas of impact that have been identified include sustaining the health of aging populations, infrastructure inspection repair and maintenance in extreme environments, mitigating climate change, and managing transport systems within smart cities.

The Japanese institutions involved include AIST, NII, and RIKEN AIP.

Over 130 registered participants with over 40 leading academic researchers from Japan and around 30 industry representatives from Japan and the UK are taking part in the three-day effort. The workshop culminates with a networking event at the Japanese Embassy in London hosted by the Japanese Ambassador to the UK.

This London event directly follows two days of productive scientific and research-based workshops at the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics’ Bayes Centre. These workshops have identified key research white spaces, backed by complementary world leading expertise from Japan and UK, at time scales ranging from intern-led projects for 3-6 months, high TRL level one-to-two year projects that will be put to industry today for co-funding as well as academic low-TRL level game-changers that will need to be backed by joint government initiatives.

Leading the workshops is Professor Sethu Vijayakumar, The Alan Turing Institute’s Programme Co-Director for AI and Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, who specialises in machine learning for robotics.

“We are very excited about the prospect of these newly forged collaborations, particularly given their direct relevance in tackling some of our biggest grand challenges with demographics and infrastructure…Both communities are committed to ethical, safe, verifiable and secure systems, and Turing scientists have proven leadership in this space.” He said.