TheSustainable Post

Southampton University's £15m Boost for AI in Climate Change Battle

The University of Southampton has been awarded a significant £15 million government grant to establish a training center focusing on artificial intelligence's role in combating climate change. This investment is aimed at fostering the development of at least 70 PhD students.

These students will be trained in a specialized AI technology called SustAI, dedicated to sustainability initiatives. The university emphasizes that sustainability is central not only to its research but also to its fundamental ethos.

In addition to this funding, the university received £31 million in June to advance the development of trustworthy AI technologies. Dr. Lindsay-Marie Armstrong, an associate professor, highlighted the center's dedication to transforming academic research into tangible societal and business impacts.

Professor Enrico Gerding, the director of SustAI, underscored the critical role of AI in meeting global environmental sustainability challenges, including emission reduction and renewable energy advancements. He emphasized the center's commitment to training engineers and technologists who will leverage AI for a sustainable future.

This announcement precedes the AI safety summit at Bletchley Park, focusing on the risks associated with AI technologies. The funding package includes £8 million from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) department.

UKRI's Chief Executive, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, remarked on the UK's strong position in harnessing AI for a range of challenges, including healthy aging and sustainable agriculture. She stressed the importance of nurturing talent to ensure responsible and trustworthy AI adoption.
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