The new agreement comes after a protest against OpenAI at the Cambridge Union last month Wikimedia Commons/Anthony Quintano

The University of Cambridge’s newly established Centre for Human-Inspired AI (CHIA) has unveiled a long-term research agreement with Google, including an unrestricted grant to support endeavours in responsible AI, health care and sustainability.

The agreement will make the technology giant the first funding partner for the University’s Centre for Human-Inspired Artificial Intelligence.

An extension of the longstanding partnership between Google Research, Google DeepMind, and the University of Cambridge, the collaboration features research funding and support for a postdoctoral fellowship.

Google DeepMind has also established the first professorship in machine learning at Cambridge’s Department of Computer Science and Technology.

Just last month (01/11), AI safety protesters disrupted a talk by OpenAI founder and CEO, Sam Altman at the Cambridge Union, hanging banners which read “OpenAI threatens democracy and humanity”.

Matt Brittin, president of Google EMEA and Cambridge alumnus, said: “AI has huge potential to benefit people across the world – whether it’s through making daily life that bit easier, or by tackling some of society’s biggest challenges. It’s vital that we work together to seize this opportunity.”

By collaborating with the University, Brittin hopes for AI research that is “bold, responsible and designed to meet the needs of people across the country.”

Last month the UK hosted an AI safety summit at Bletchley Park where governments, researchers and tech giants came together to discuss the potential opportunities, and concerns, around the technology. Issues raised included the potential use of AI for terrorism, warfare and the existential risk posed to humanity.

Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, said: “Artificial intelligence can offer us enormous opportunities – growing the economy, creating new jobs and making lives longer, healthier and happier for British people.

“To seize those opportunities, we must bring together insights from business and academia to encourage the safe and responsible development of AI. That is why we are welcoming the partnership which Google and the University of Cambridge have announced today.”


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Professor Anna Korhonen, director of CHIA, said: “Our researchers are dedicated to making sure that people are put at the very heart of new developments in AI. As our first funding partner, Google has been with us from the start of our journey, helping enable the breakthrough interdisciplinary research that we do. Partnerships like this – between academia and industry – will continue to be vital for the successful development of human-inspired AI.”

Zoubin Ghahramani, VP of research at Google DeepMind, is a professor of information engineering at the University of Cambridge and has been the forefront of leading this collaboration.

He said: “Google and the University of Cambridge share a deep commitment to developing AI responsibly. We’re excited by CHIA’s potential to set new standards in responsible and human-centric AI development, and unlock AI discoveries that could benefit everyone.”