In 2020, Professor Francesca Toni was appointed the JP Morgan/Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair in Argumentation for Interactive Explainable AI. The Academy’s Research Chairs scheme strengthens the links between industry and academia by supporting exceptional academics in UK universities to undertake use-inspired research for five years, co-sponsored by an industrial partner.
Professor Francesca Toni is a professor in the Department of Computing and Leader of the Computational Logic and Argumentation Group at Imperial College London. She is working alongside JP Morgan, focusing on developing forms of interactive explainable artificial intelligence (AI) supported by computational argumentation.
Professor Toni’s general research on computational argumentation is a field within AI computing that enables machines to argue. Giving systems the power of logical reasoning, allowing for arguments and counter-arguments, will provide them with justifications for making decisions.
Professor Toni’s Research Chair will see her looking to go beyond existing ‘one way’ – machine to human – interactions. She will help deliver machines, powered by a variety of AI methods, which can engage with humans in two-way explanatory dialogues. The machines will explain their recommendations and humans will question their explanations and provide feedback. Such explanations can be drawn to engage humans and make them trust the methods' outputs.
In the financial sector there is often a lack of understanding of the products, on the part of clients and regulators, that pose barriers to the adoption of AI. Professor Toni’s work with JP Morgan will see her building systems that may enable financial institutions to fight money laundering and help customers to make better investment decisions. She also feels that her AI research could see future applications that would benefit both legal and healthcare systems.
The Academy’s Research Chairs scheme aims to strengthen the links between industry and academia by supporting exceptional academics in UK universities to undertake use-inspired research that meets the needs of the industrial partners.