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Research initiative to build collaborative and creative AI futures

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A £2.4 million initiative has been launched to help organisations develop solutions for pressing questions around the responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI).

A £2.4 million initiative has been launched to help organisations develop solutions for pressing questions around the responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI).

Supported by the Bridging Responsible AI Divides (BRAID) programme, 17 researchers will address a range of AI-related challenges in industry, public organisations, and the third sector through a series of fellowships announced on 7 May.

BRAID is led by the University of Edinburgh in partnership with the Ada Lovelace Institute and the BBC, and is supported by Edinburgh Innovations, the university’s commercialisation service. The £15.9 million, six-year programme is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), part of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI). The project is led from Edinburgh Futures Institute, University of Edinburgh, and is supported by Edinburgh Innovations, the University’s commercialisation service.

The BRAID Fellows, appointed from universities across the UK, will apply research expertise from humanities and arts including data ethics, copyright law, digital design and qualitative analysis to address questions around the responsible use of AI.

Collaborating across sectors

Each Fellow will partner with an organisation from the public, private or third sector to unite expertise for tackling existing, new or emerging AI challenges.  

Partners from the technology sector include Adobe, Datamind Audio, Diverse AI, Mozilla Foundation and Microsoft.

Project partners from regulatory and public organisations include Ada Lovelace Institute, The Alan Turing Institute, BBC, Institute for the Future of Work and the Public Media Alliance.

Elsewhere, fellows will be working with arts and cultural institutions including the Arts Council England, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Serpentine Galleries, and Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

The collaborative projects will address questions, including examining approaches for the use of generative AI in the media, exploring the societal and ethical factors shaping the adoption of AI in a medical setting, developing a responsible AI innovation framework for the arts and culture sector, and supporting the needs of creatives when using AI.

Elsewhere, other collaborations will research the complex issue of copyright and generative AI in creative and cultural industries, including the impact of generative AI on writing novels, exploring the creation and ownership of AI-generated sounds, and examining the impact of generative AI in publishing.

The impact of AI can already be felt in many areas of our lives. It will transform our jobs and livelihoods, and impact on areas as diverse as education, policing and the creative industries. It is vital that we ensure its responsible development and use. The BRAID fellowships announced today will play an invaluable role informing the practice and tools crucial to ensuring this transformative technology is used responsibly to provide benefits for all of society.

Professor Christopher Smith, AHRC Executive Chair

Project leads at the University of Edinburgh said the Fellowships will support the creation of an AI ecosystem which will enable researchers and industry and public sector leaders to develop a deeper understanding of AI and its challenges and opportunities.  

The 17 Fellowships offer opportunities for deeper relationships and joint impact, moving towards a genuine embedding of arts and humanities knowledge within how we think about, develop and deploy AI in practice and in the world. It is our hope that with these connections, and working towards common challenges across sectors and diverse communities, we will take substantial strides towards a more responsible AI ecosystem.

BRAID Co-director Professor Ewa Luger Chair in Human-Data Interaction at Edinburgh College of Art

We are reaching a critical point in society where businesses and the public sector recognise that deploying AI systems safely and responsibly requires new kinds of knowledge and expertise, which can be challenging to access – the BRAID fellowships aim to bring together researchers with industry and the public sector to help bridge that divide between technical capability and the knowledge of how to use it wisely and well, to ensure that the benefits of AI are realised for the good of us all.

BRAID Co-director Professor Shannon Vallor, Baillie Gifford Chair in the Ethics of Data and Artificial Intelligence at Edinburgh Futures Institute

Further information

Visit the BRAID Fellowships Website

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