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ELSA: European Lighthouse for Safe and Secure AI

1st September 2022 to 31st August 2025

In order to reinforce European leadership in safe and secure AI technology, we are proposing a virtual centre of excellence in safe and secure AI, which will address the major challenges hampering the deployment of AI technology. These grand challenges are fundamental in nature and addressing them in a sustainable manner requires a lighthouse rooted in scientific excellence and rigorous methods.  

The project aims to develop a strategic research agenda which is supported by research programmes that focus on: 

  • Technical robustness and safety 
  • Privacy preserving techniques and infrastructures 
  • Human agency and oversight 

The project aims to detect, prevent, and mitigate threats and enable recovery from harm by three grand challenges:  

  • Robustness guarantees and certification 
  • Private and robust collaborative learning at scale 
  • Human-in-the-loop decision making: Integrated governance to ensure meaningful oversight 

These cut across 6 use cases: health, autonomous driving, robotics, cybersecurity, multi-media, and document intelligence.  

The project seeks to integrate robust technical approaches with legal and ethical principles, supported by meaningful and effective governance architectures, to nurture and sustain the development and deployment of AI technology that serves and promotes foundational European values. The initiative builds on and expands the internationally recognised, highly successful and fully operational network of excellence, ELLIS.  

The project builds on its three pillars: research programmes, a set of research units, and a PhD/PostDoc programme, thereby connecting a network of over 100 organisations and more than 337 ELLIS Fellows and Scholars (113 ERC grants) committed to shared standards of excellence. Not only will the project establish a virtual centre of excellence, but its activities will be inclusive and open to input, interactions, and collaboration of AI researchers and industrial partners, in order to drive the entire field forward. 

See the main ELSA project page:

Principal Investigator

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