The FINANCIAL — Accenture (NYSE: ACN) is expanding its research collaboration with The Alan Turing Institute, the national institute for data science and AI, by committing to establish a five-year strategic partnership that will create a new data and AI engagement forum, conduct research, and develop applications.
The partnership, led by Accenture Applied Intelligence, will bring together industry and academia to deliver real value from cutting edge AI and data science research to businesses and society in the UK. It will also place particular emphasis on developing regional strengths and new project opportunities in the UK. These include cities such as Edinburgh, Manchester and Newcastle, where promising technology hubs are already starting to emerge.
Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, Amanda Solloway said, “AI and data science is already changing the way we live – but we are only at the start of realising this technology’s amazing potential. This ambitious collaboration between The Alan Turing Institute and Accenture will help equip our next generation of brilliant AI and data scientists across the country. It will give them the tools they will need to advance innovations that even our own Alan Turing would be proud of, ensuring the UK is at the forefront of this technology for years to come.”
Some of the activities the research partnership plans to undertake include conducting joint research in data science and AI, as well as engagement activities to help transform executives’ understanding of how it can be used as a tool for business. This will include guest lectures and seminars as well as internship opportunities for a range of students across the Turing Network with Accenture and its clients.
“We have some of the leading minds in the field of AI here in the UK,” said George Marcotte, Applied Intelligence Lead for Accenture in Europe. “But without scaling the technology in businesses we’ll never realise its full technical, societal and economic potential. We’re excited to continue our collaboration with The Alan Turing Institute as a Strategic Partner, building skills and fuelling growth in an area that is critical for the future of the UK economy.”
Adrian Smith, Director and Chief Executive of The Alan Turing Institute, said, “The Institute is delighted to continue its work with Accenture which together has already delivered a series of outstanding collaborative research projects including applications of anomaly detection and network analysis to identify fraudulent activity. Our new five-year partnership will build on this relationship and deliver cutting-edge research, innovation and impact for the benefit of the wider UK economy.”
Accenture and The Alan Turing Institute have been working together since 2017, during which time they have conducted joint research projects into new techniques for network analytics for use in fraud detection, for example, in telecommunications. They have also run Data Study Groups to tackle challenges facing AI professionals, such as fairness in algorithmic decision-making. It will also build on the success of the Innovation Symposium format: events for Accenture’s clients to connect with leaders in the field to understand how AI can transform their business.
Over the next five years, joint research will be undertaken across many areas including:
- Creating tools for the generation and management of synthetic data as well as tools in other Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs) for safe and secure data sharing.
- Developing interoperable software tools focusing on advanced modelling techniques to create complex digital twins, for example representing business systems.
- Applications of AI to help quantify uncertainty and design systems which are more resilient to shocks, make systems more sustainable, and do social good.