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Dr David Llewellyn will use the Fellowship to fund research into new treatments and interventions, and the timely identification of dementia

Exeter expert to advance artificial intelligence use in dementia identification with Turing Fellowship

Dr David Llewellyn has been awarded the prestigious Turing Fellowship which will aim to accelerate the application of machine learning within the healthcare industry.

Dr David Llewellyn will use the Fellowship to fund research into the potential of machine learning to promote new treatments and interventions, and the timely identification of dementia.

In addition to identifying existing cases of dementia, Dr Llewellyn anticipates that machine learning will be useful in predicting the onset and progression of dementia.

Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI). It allows a computer system to learn from real world examples of data and experience and apply it to new situations.

Dr Llewellyn said: “Complex – and seemingly insurmountable – problems require dangerous ideas and creativity to solve. Indeed, history has taught us that by creating new technologies we have the capacity to exceed our own individual abilities. Conventional approaches to tackling dementia have faltered.

“It’s my belief that machine learning and AI hold tremendous promise to enhance prevention, diagnosis and treatment. It’s an honour to receive a Turing Fellowship to pursue these important goals.”

Dr Llewellyn will demonstrate the potential of machine learning using the DECODE system to provide a benchmark.

The DECODE system, which Dr Llewellyn developed, helps clinicians identify patients with dementia. Its underlying algorithms are considerably more accurate than current gold standard. Dr Llewellyn believes machine learning is likely to improve system accuracy further.

The Alan Turing Institute was created as the national institute for data science in 2015, adding AI to its scope in 2017. Exeter joined the Institute earlier in 2018, recognised for its research excellence and its ability to bring new expertise and proposals which work in line with their core values.

The Fellowship begins in October and will span two years, offering networking opportunities, access to resources, and discussion groups.

Dr Llewellyn is based at the University of Exeter Medical School and is affiliated with the University’s Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. The Institute aims to develop innovative approaches to the use of data and AI in modern society and marks a step change in the University’s data analytic capabilities, enabling cutting edge research.

This comes as recent reports suggest 30% of the world’s stored data is generated in the healthcare industry.

Date: 10 October 2018