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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S022937/1
Title: UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Interactive Artificial Intelligence
Principal Investigator: Flach, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Santos-Rodriguez, Dr R Mowbray, Dr M J F Marshall, Dr P
Ray, Dr O Lawry, Professor J Charlesworth, Professor A
Schien, Dr D
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Adarga Amazon Research Cambridge Amplify Intelligence
Badoo Trading Limited CACI Limited Centre for Sustainable Energy
Cloudera (UK) Limited Delib Dyson Limited
Ecotricity EDF Energy Facebook UK
IOP Publishing Just Eat plc Microsoft
Ordnance Survey PassivSystems Limited Pega
QinetiQ Rothamsted Research Thales Ltd
Toumetis XMOS Ltd
Department: Computer Science
Organisation: University of Bristol
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 April 2019 Ends: 30 September 2027 Value (£): 6,842,132
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Artificial Intelligence
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Electronics Financial Services
Food and Drink R&D
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Energy
Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
07 Nov 2018 UKRI Centres for Doctoral Training AI Interview Panel T – November 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Our mission is to train the next generations of innovators in responsible, data-driven and knowledge-intensive human-in-the-loop AI systems. Our innovative, cohort-based training programme will deliver cohorts of highly trained PhD graduates with the skills to design and implement complex interactive AI pipelines solving societally important problems in responsible ways.

While fully autonomous artificial intelligence dominates today's headlines in the form of self-driving cars and human-level game play, the key AI challenges of tomorrow are posed by the need for interactive knowledge-intensive systems in which the human plays an essential role, be it as an end-user providing relevant case-specific knowledge or interrogating the system, an operator requiring crucial information to be presented in an intelligible form, a supervisor requiring confirmation that the system's performance remains within acceptable limits, or a regulator assessing to what extent the system operates according to exacting standards concerning transparency, accountability and fairness.

Each of these examples demonstrates a need for specific and meaningful interaction between the AI system and human(s). The examples also demonstrate the importance of knowledge for achieving human-level interaction, in addition to the data driving the machine learning aspect of the system.

In close conversation with our industry partners we thus identified Interactive Artificial Intelligence (IAI) as a core sub-discipline of AI where the need for and deficit in advanced AI skills is abundantly evident while being homogeneous enough to have intellectual integrity and be taught and researched within the context of a single CDT. The most important aspects of the training programme are:

- Knowledge-Driven AI and Data-Driven AI are core components treated in a close symbiotic relationship: the former uses knowledge in processes such as reasoning, argumentation and dialogue, but in such a way that data is treated as a first-class citizen; the latter starts from data but emphasises knowledge-intensive forms of machine learning such as relational learning which take knowledge as an additional input.

- Human-AI Interaction is another core component addressing all human-in-the-loop aspects, overseen by a co-investigator from the human-computer interaction field.

- Responsible AI is underpinning not just the taught first year but the students' doctoral training throughout all four years, overseen by two dedicated co-investigators with backgrounds in IT law and industrial codes of practice.

Other skill requirements from stakeholders include: the ability to design and implement complete end-to-end systems; acquiring depth in some AI-related subjects without sacrificing breadth; the ability to work in teams of people with diverse skill sets; and being able to take on a role as "AI ambassadors" who are able to inspire but also to manage expectations through their in-depth understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of different AI techniques.

The IAI training programme is designed to achieve this by strongly emphasising cohort-based training. Students will develop their projects and coursework within an innovative software environment which means easy integration of their work with that of others. This virtual hub is complemented by a physical hub where all cohorts are colocated -- together both hubs will strongly promote interaction both within and between cohorts: e.g., projects can aim at improving or extending software produced by the previous cohort, so that senior students can be involved in mentoring their juniors.

In summary, the IAI training programme pulls together Bristol's unique and comprehensive strengths in doctoral training and AI to deliver highly trained AI innovators, equipping them with essential skills to deliver the interactive AI technology society requires to deal with current and future challenges.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.bris.ac.uk