News story

Launching the AI Research Centre for Defence

Dstl and the Alan Turing Institute have jointly launched the Centre in order to research problems related to advancing artificial intelligence (AI) capability.

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has announced the formation of the AI Research Centre for Defence (ARC-D) as part of the newly released Defence AI Strategy and the recently established Defence AI Centre.

Initially named the Defence Centre for AI Research (DARC), the Centre is being launched in conjunction with the Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s institute for AI and data science.

Funded through the Ministry of Defence’s Chief Scientific Advisor, the Centre will focus on the underpinning problems associated with enabling advances in AI capability. Examples include areas such as:

  • low short learning – the ability to train machines to learn without the need for vast amounts of data
  • the application of AI to war gaming
  • understanding the limits of AI models
  • managing multiple sensors
  • human-centric AI
  • ethics

In many cases it is expected that outcomes will not only be of interest to defence but also the wider UK economy.

Whilst based in London, Turing will use its outreach to engage with universities around the country, drawing together the UK’s best expertise.

The establishment of the Centre is expected to result in the creation of at least 5 to 8 new academic posts starting from September 2022, with the potential to grow further.

Glen Hart, Senior Principal Scientist from Dstl, commented:

ARC-D will be a centre of excellence which provides real focus to developing and applying AI ethically in defence contexts.

The Defence AI Strategy was published in June 2022 with the vision that, in terms of AI, the UK’s MOD will be the world’s most effective, efficient, trusted and influential defence organisation for its size.

The MOD is committed to developing AI in an ambitious, safe and responsible way.

The creation of the AI Research Centre for Defence follows the launch in June of the Defence Data Research Centre (DDRC) under a consortium led by the University of Exeter.

Published 14 July 2022