Skip navigation

Northumbria research helps shape the future of AI

1st May 2018

Evidence submitted by a Northumbria University researcher has been cited in a House of Lords Select Committee report on artificial intelligence (AI).

Thomas Cheney is a PhD candidate in space law and part of a research group at Northumbria Law School led by Professor Christopher Newman, one of the UK and Europe’s leading experts in space law and policy.

Responding to a call for evidence from the House of Lords Select Committee, Thomas made a submission based on his knowledge of legal issues arising from the exploration of space, which he argued are relevant for AI. His written evidence has been cited twice in the 180-page report entitled AI in the UK: ready, willing and able? A recommendation for a global coordination policy for AI to be led by the United Nations (UN) was also referenced.

Thomas said: “Many lessons have been learned from the dawn of the space age that can help inform and manage the growth of AI, and which I felt would assist the work of the Select Committee. Based on our research here at Northumbria I suggested that the nature of the technologies used in both crosses over borders and would benefit significantly from international coordination and governance. Such an interconnected model could also help smaller nations who may lack the resources and technology to develop AI on their own.

“A UN-coordinated approach to issues of governance and safety has been successful in space exploration, and could fulfil a similar role for AI – especially around broader issues such as cyber security.”

Professor Christopher Newman added: “Having written evidence accepted in high profile and policy-shaping Select Committee reports underlines the significance, quality and impact of our research at Northumbria, and indeed of our researchers like Thomas. It is extremely gratifying to see his work contributing to the development of technologies of fundamental importance to society, such as AI.”

comments powered by Disqus
a sign in front of a crowd

Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

Research at Northumbria

Research at Northumbria

Research is the life blood of a University and at Northumbria University we pride ourselves on research that makes a difference; research that has application and affects people's lives.

NU World

Explore NU World

Find out what life here is all about. From studying to socialising, term time to downtime, we’ve got it covered.

Latest News and Features

Laura McClorey
Dig Tsho glacial lake in the Langmoche valley, Nepal. The natural moraine dam impounding this lake breached catastrophically in 1985, causing extensive damage downstream. The High Mountain Asia region has the highest GLOF danger globally and accounts for the majority of the global population exposed to GLOFs.
Counterfeiting symposium
Newcastle quayside cityscape at dusk

The Power of Five

How the North East’s universities are working together to help drive forward the Levelling…

a headshot image of Andy Smith smiling at the camera with an image of the sun in the background
Care leavers covenant
Jacinda Ardern. Photo Credit NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Back to top