News Data & AI Ethics

EFI announces PhD studentships funded by investment firm Baillie Gifford

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Five PhD studentships in the field of ethical challenges posed by the growing use of data and artificial intelligence, are available for entry in 2020/2021.

The Edinburgh Futures Institute is delighted to announce the launch of the five PhD studentships for entry in 2020/2021. The studentships will support research into the ethical challenges posed by the growing use of data and artificial intelligence. Funded by global investment firm Baillie Gifford, each place offers a stipend, tuition fees and an annual research budget.

Multi-disciplinary model

The new studentships will be a model of interdisciplinary study and research, working with schools across the University and organisations such as the Bayes Centre, Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society and the Futures Institute itself.

Projects have been awarded on five topics:

  • The University of Data: Ethical and Social Futures of Data-Driven EducationKaren Gregory (School of Social and Political Science) and Jen Ross (Moray House School of Education and Sport)
  • A Data Ethics Framework for AgricultureKirsteen Shields and Jon Hillier (Global Academies)
  • AI and Ethical Decision Making in a Resource-Limited Health Care Environment  – Ewen Harrison (Usher Institute) and Sarah Cunningham Burley (Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society)
  • Sex Robots Among Us: Ethical and Feminist issuesElinor Mason (School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Science) and Sarah Parry (School of Social and Political Science)
  • Fair and Ethical Credit DecisionsGalina Andreeva (Business School) and Michael Rovatsos (Bayes Centre)

Students will be co-supervised by an interdisciplinary team and will receive their degree from the School where their lead supervisor is based.

Collaborative approach

While each student will be supervised within their School, the five selected applicants will also take part in collaborative activities as a cohort within the Edinburgh Futures Institute’s Baillie Gifford programme in the Ethics of Data and Artificial Intelligence. Headed by Shannon Vallor, the first Baillie Gifford Chair in the Ethics of Data and Artificial Intelligence (EFI), the aim of this programme is to cultivate multi-disciplinary skills and knowledge in the application of ethical values to data-driven technologies. More broadly, the goal is to develop the shared vocabulary and methodologies needed to support new models of education and research into the complex challenges and opportunities that data and AI present.

The studentships will be open to international applicants. More information on how to apply here.

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Please note: We are aware that circumstances surrounding COVID-19 may require arrangements for remote interviews by videoconference; the Edinburgh Futures Institute will adapt our recruitment procedures for these positions as necessary to remain in observance of current public health guidance.

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