From education to employment

AI Fairness Innovation Challenge winners announced

group gathered around a computer
  • Four winning projects to support AI firms working in higher education, healthcare, finance, and recruitment  
  • Winners will now receive up to £130,000 to develop their solutions
  • Competition further boosts push for safe, responsible AI development

New solutions to address bias and discrimination in AI systems in higher education, healthcare, finance, and recruitment will be developed by four organisations awarded funding under the Government’s AI Fairness Innovation Challenge.

The Challenge, managed by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) and delivered by Innovate UK, was set up to fund new ways to address statistical, human and structural bias and discrimination in AI systems. DSIT will now invest more than £465,000 across four winning bids, announced today (6 February):  

Higher Education: The Open University will look at ways to improve the fairness of AI systems in higher education.

Finance: The Alan Turing Institute will create a fairness toolkit for SMEs and developers to self-assess and monitor fairness in Large Language Models (LLMs) used in the financial sector.

Healthcare: King’s College London will design a solution to address bias and discrimination in healthcare. The project will mitigate bias in early warning systems used to predict cardiac arrest in hospital wards, based on the CogStack Foresight model. 

Recruitment: Coefficient Systems Ltd.’s solution will focus on reducing bias in automated CV screening algorithms that are often used in the recruitment sector.

 Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan said:

“Our AI White Paper is fostering greater public trust in the development of AI, while encourage a growing number of people and organisations to tap into its potential.

“The winners of the Fairness Innovation Challenge will now develop state-of-the-art solutions, putting the UK at the forefront of leading the development of AI for public good.”

The winners were selected by expert assessors chosen by DSIT and Innovate UK. The rigorous evaluation process considered the potential impact, innovation, and alignment with the proposed AI regulatory principles, including fairness, set out in the UK White Paper, A pro-innovation approach to AI regulation.  

DSIT looks forward to the continued progress and impact of these new solutions in helping to shape a fair AI landscape for the future. The projects will start by 1 May and winners will be supported by DSIT and regulators, the EHRC and the ICO, to ensure their solutions marry up with data protection and equality legislation.   

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