About the Project

Intelligent systems comprise one or more AI technologies embedded within a larger systems architecture. They are being utilised in more and more scenarios, including autonomous vehicles, smart home appliances, retail, healthcare and manufacturing. There are many scenarios within which an intelligent system (or its developers) might need be held to account, for example system failures, or auditing and validation of decision making. It may be difficult or even impossible to know how the system is making decisions, what went wrong in the case of a failure or who should be held responsible. How can we benefit from the superhuman capacity and efficiency that such systems offer without giving up our desire for accountability, transparency and responsibility? How can we avoid a stalemate choice between forgoing the benefits of automated systems altogether or accepting a degree of arbitrariness that would be unthinkable in society’s usual human relationships?

The RAInS project aims to realise processes by which these systems can be made accountable, by developing an accountability fabric for use by a variety of stakeholders. The project will use computational models of provenance – as a substrate for enabling trust; such a mechanism facilitates transparency and accountability by recording the processes, entities and agents associated with a system and its behaviours-supporting verification and compliance monitoring.

Who we are



Professor Peter Edwards

Contact details are available on Pete’s profile page.



Professor Rebecca Williams

Contact details are available on Rebecca’s profile page.


Dr Jatinder Singh

Contact details are available on Jat’s profile page.


Dr Caitlin Cottrill

Contact details are available on Caitlin’s profile page.


Dr Wei Pang

Contact details are available on Pang’s profile page.

Research Staff


Richard Cloete
Research Assistant
Compliance and Accountability systems research group, Computer Laboratory, Cambridge University.
+44 (0) 1223763560
rac219 [at] cam [dot] ac [dot] uk


Dr Milan Markovic

Contact details are available on Milan’s profile page.


Dr Iman Naja

Contact details are available on Iman’s profile page.

Former Staff


Dr Naomi Jacobs

Contact details are available on Naomi’s profile page.


Dr Frances Ryan

Contact details are available on Frances’s profile page.



RAInS is led by the University of Aberdeen, in collaboration with Heriot-Watt University, the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford.

University of Aberdeen Logo

HW Logo

University of CambridgeLogo

University of OxfordLogo


RAInS will collaborate with the PLEAD project: Provenance-driven and Legally-grounded Explanations for Automated Decisions.


RAInS is supported by the awards made by the RCUK Digital Economy programme; award references: EP/R033846/1, EP/R03379X/1, and EP/R033501/1.

EPSRC LogoRCUK Digital Economy Logo