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Cranfield joins forces with The Alan Turing Institute to tackle AI defence and security challenges

8 May 2019

Mark Briers

Cranfield University and The Alan Turing Institute have jointly appointed Mark Briers as Professor of Cyber Security, as the two organisations look to align their research and education agendas in artificial intelligence (AI) for defence, security and cybersecurity.

Mark is the Defence and Security Programme Director for The Alan Turing Institute and will be based at Cranfield’s secure site at Shrivenham and the Turing’s headquarters in London. As part of this new role, Mark will be combining Cranfield’s knowledge and experience in defence and security with the Turing’s foundational research base in data science and AI to drive operational and societal impact.

Professor Mark Richardson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Defence and Security at Cranfield University said: “It is widely recognised that there is a national and international skills shortage in data science and artificial intelligence in all sectors, including defence and security. With Mark’s appointment and our evolving partnership with The Alan Turing Institute, we look forward to working together to tackle this gap through our education and research initiatives.”

Professor Sir Adrian Smith, Institute Director and Chief Executive at The Alan Turing Institute, said: “The huge potential of artificial intelligence to transform our economy and our lives for the better, from revolutionising cancer treatment to combating cyber-crime, is at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy. Working with the UK’s leading universities, such as Cranfield, will help drive greater impact in line with the Institute’s goals. Mark’s joint appointment will act as a catalyst for impact within the area of defence and security.”

Professor Mark Briers said: “It is an honour to work at the intersection of two world-leading research and educational organisations to drive scientific and real-world impact. I am excited by the opportunity to combine the expertise at Cranfield and the Turing to help solve problems in cyber security, modern slavery, and in keeping our nation secure.”

The Alan Turing Institute is rapidly evolving its educational initiatives, working with the UK’s leading universities, to provide new skills for the benefit of the UK’s economy and society.

Cranfield offers a number of related master’s courses including Data-led Decision Support, Data Modelling, Storage and Management, and Military Operational Research.

Mark will be delivering the Opening Keynote on Artificial Intelligence and Conflict as part of the National Security Science and Technology Forum at the Safeguarding Australia Summit on 9 May in Canberra.

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