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04 June 2020

Building trust in Autonomous Systems

King’s College London is one of the partners in a new Trustworthy Autonomous Systems hub announced by UKRI. The hub will coordinate a £33 million investment by UKRI into building trust in autonomous systems. It will be based at the University of Southampton which is the lead partner, working with King’s and the University of Nottingham.


In autonomous systems hardware and software work together to solve a problem by performing an action, with no human intervention necessary. They are widely used in smart devices, robotics, manufacturing, and driverless cars. For systems to be useful people need to be able to trust them. The new hub will bring together research into the way such systems are planned, designed and regulated and provide a focal point for consultation with governments and the public.

Commenting on the creation of the hub, Professor Luc Moreau, Head of the Department of Informatics, and hub deputy director, said:

For an autonomous system to be truly useful it needs to take account of the human, ethical and social aspects of what it is doing. People need to be able to see what factors are influencing its decisions and behaviour to be able to trust it. At King’s we have assembled a multi-disciplinary team spanning Computer Science, Arts and Humanities, Business, Law, Life Sciences and Sociology and Public Policy to tackle this challenge. We are hugely excited to bring our expertise together with others through the new hub.

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Professor Luc Moreau

Head of Department of Informatics