Leading the way in artificial intelligence safety

The potential for automation and autonomous technologies is huge. Autonomous vehicles will radically change global transport systems and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies are already being used to address challenges from healthcare to energy management.

But there are many more uses – as the application of autonomous systems stretches across most economic sectors from manufacturing to services. AI technologies have great potential to address today’s most important challenges – from the transition to a net-zero economy and delivering the next generation of healthcare systems to ensuring our society and economy is resilient.
For autonomous technologies to be more widely used it is critical that they are considered equitable and safe. This can mean a range of different things, from ensuring the use of AI in decision making in business and policy is fair, to ensuring robots and humans can work together in manufacturing, construction or agriculture settings. For autonomous systems to be accepted and trusted in both business and society, it is vital that the decisions and actions that they take are seen to be as equitable and safe as possible.

Without considering these issues at the start of any technological journey, it can lead to real barriers in the take-up of these technologies, significantly reducing their positive impact.
This is where the University of York’s new Institute for Safe Autonomy (ISA) comes in. ISA brings together a broad range of expertise on the safe design, development, assurance and testing of Robotic, Connected and Autonomous Systems. Work done in the Institute includes the design and verification of software and hardware systems, the development of new communications techniques and methods to assure complex systems.

The Institute brings this expertise together in a single building in support of its vision to be the partner of choice for world leading, multi-disciplinary expertise on the safety of automated systems that supports impactful use by society, government and industry at a local, national and international scale. In addition to its technical capabilities, the Institute will also focus on the societal, ethical and trust issues associated with the development and deployment of autonomous systems. ISA is working with partners from industry, government and the third sector to provide the necessary training and expertise, and to enable and support the conversations needed to understand and deliver the true potential of autonomous technologies.

For more information on the project contact: institute-safe-autonomy@york.ac.uk