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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/Y010477/1
Title: Everyone-Virtuoso-Everyday: Exploring Strong Human-Centred Perspectives to Diversify and Disrupt AI Discovery and Innovation
Principal Investigator: Jones, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BBC BT Digital Catapult
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) Google
HSBC IBM UK Ltd Indian Inst of Technology (IIT) Bombay
Microsoft NHS Wales NHS Wales Informatics Service
Rescape Swansea Asylum Seekers Support Swansea Council
Trial & Error University of Nambia
Department: College of Science
Organisation: Swansea University
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 April 2024 Ends: 31 March 2029 Value (£): 1,830,000
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Artificial Intelligence Human-Computer Interactions
Vision & Senses - ICT appl.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
31 Oct 2023 EPSRC ICT Fellowship Interview Panel October 2023 Announced
25 Sep 2023 EPSRC ICT Prioritisation Panel Sept 2023 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This Fellowship is about re-orientating interactive AI systems, away from systems that might lead to people feeling powerless, redundant and undervalued, turning towards approaches that let people experience joy, creativity, connection and agency as they use AI innovations to amplify their innate abilities, qualities and values.

Many everyday people worry about the impact of artificial intelligence on their lives and livelihoods. In the most recent Stanford AI-100 report (September 2021), for example, while the fear of robots taking people's jobs has reduced, there is a strong concern that such systems will erode democracy and values through deep fakes, manipulated social media feeds and the like. The report points to Grand Challenges for AI that involve systems outpacing or outsmarting humans. Even as I write this summary (late Jan 2023), there is a frenzy of excitement over Open AI's ChatGPT, a system that can turn a simple written request (e.g. "Write me a compelling EPSRC summary") into, at least at the surface level, a seductively articulate response (N.B., this summary is definitely written by me). Further, I am writing this while in South Africa where I have engaged with community members in Langa, a township on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, as part of the preparation for the Fellowship. These people spoke of the starkly real problems (from violent crime to very high unemployment). With so many underserved and unheard voices, globally and indeed in the UK, there is a timely and urgent need to think about how to radically enable these "natural intelligences" rather than to replace them with artificial ones.

In this Fellowship, then, we will work intensively with people who are not usually involved in AI discovery and innovation - people with lower socio-economic opportunities in the UK and those in Global South communities such as the informal settlements in India, Kenya, Brazil and South Africa. Their lived-experiences will be brought into the design and development process, a process further richly enhanced through the involvement of a diverse set of technology, service provision and creative partners. In doing so, we aim to discover novel ways for people - everywhere, whatever their contexts and opportunities - to engage with AI systems.

We call this new trajectory for AI research, EVE - everyone virtuoso everyday - to succinctly summarise the drive of the work. That is, we are interested in defining and evaluating a class of AI technology that enable expressive, individual and masterful interactions, like a virtuoso musician who channels all of their being - physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual - through their instrument to help themselves and others make sense of the world. However, our work is not about turning everyone into an AI-fuelled artist, dancer or musician. Quite the contrary, we look to providing tools that can be deployed in the mundanity of their daily lives. As a Fellowship, the vision and agenda is broad and open to continuous shaping with communities, academics and wider societal stakeholders as the work proceeds over three cycles, each 20 months long, as ideas move from seeds of possibility, growing and being refined into working embodiments, enabling us to evaluate them, integrating them into toolkits for wide impact in academic and practice worlds.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.swan.ac.uk