The Alan Turing Institute
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Turing Institute launches £3.5m security research centre

Some of the UK’s leading data scientists are joining forces with the security services to explore how AI and other cutting-edge technologies can bolster Britain’s defences.

The initiative will be housed in a new research centre at the Alan Turing Institute, funded to the tune of £3.5m by GCHQ, the Ministry of Defence and the National Cyber Security Centre.

As part of the plans, the Turing has launched a hiring spree for data scientists who will be tasked with collaborating with its community of academics, to “turn [officials’] data challenges into research questions”, according to a job advert.

“The team will create software and scripts that implement research and apply it to client data in a readable, reliable and reproducible fashion,” the advert states. “It will present conclusions of research and analysis to the research community and clients through presentations, research papers, and interactive data visualisations.”

Professor Anthony Finkelstein, the UK government’s chief scientific advisor for national security, said: “Increasingly innovation in defence and security cannot be undertaken successfully behind a barbed wire fence.

“It requires creative engagement with the research base and the talent that a national institute such as the Turing can harness. The ARC will be able to move at pace and can explore emerging technologies in applications that directly help to keep the UK safe.”