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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/Y030729/1
Title: UKRI AI Centre for Doctoral Training in Citizen-Centred Artificial Intelligence
Principal Investigator: Lawson, Professor SW
Other Investigators:
Wilson, Professor RG Gaver, Professor W Talhouk, Dr RR
Montague, Dr K Branley-Bell, Dr D Briggs, Professor P
Woo, Professor W Yang, Professor L Oswald, Dr M
Sutton, Dr SJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Academic Health Science Centre NE&NC ART Health Solutions City, University of London
CyberNorth CIC Department for Work and Pensions Digital Safety CIC
Google Indiana University Innovation SuperNetwork
Interactive Technologies Institute International Centre for Life Trust Jumping Rivers Ltd
LNER London North Eastern Railway Newcastle City Council NHS Midlands and Lancashire CSU
NHS North East and North Cumbria NHSBSA Nokia
North East LEP (Local Enterprise) North East Procurement Organisation Northumbria Police Force
Northumbrian Water Group plc Ofcom Seymour-Powell Ltd
SportsAid Sunderland Software City TEC Services Association (TSA)
The Trussell Trust ThoughtWorks Ltd Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums
UK Health Security Agency University College Dublin University of British Columbia (UBC)
VONNE (Voluntary Org Network North East) Wubbleyou Ltd
Department: Fac of Engineering and Environment
Organisation: Northumbria, University of
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 April 2024 Ends: 30 September 2032 Value (£): 9,560,006
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Artificial Intelligence Science and Technology Studies
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Healthcare
Creative Industries Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
06 Sep 2023 UKRI CDTs in Artificial Intelligence 2023 expert panel Announced
20 Sep 2023 UKRI CDTs in Artificial Intelligence Interview Panel F Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly changing the way people live and work. From education and healthcare to purchasing goods and services, AI is transforming daily life. However, much of the conversation about AI has been focused on the benefits to businesses and governments, rather than the impact on citizens. Such narratives suggest a vision where citizens play a passive role, on the periphery of AI developments and receiving trickle-down benefits, rather than occupying a central role as co-designers of a future AI-enabled society and economy. We argue that such a vision for AI is not yet sufficiently inclusive and, moreover, could result in systems and services that, at best, fail to realise opportunities for societal and individual good and, at worst, create harm, exacerbate mistrust in technology, and perpetuate existing and create new forms of inequalities and division. To reconcile the transformative potential of AI with citizens' concerns and rights, there is a need to build workforce capability to design AI systems that prioritize citizens' needs and aspirations.

Our Vision for the CDT in Citizen-Centred AI (CCAI) is to make AI "work for citizens" as well as government and businesses by foregrounding citizen engagement in the design, evaluation and governance of systems. CCAI will train at least 60 doctoral students in practical inter-disciplinary skills, centred around computer science and human-centred design, alongside regulation and governance theory, and richly supported by industry and community placements to contextualise students' research. It is built upon a foundational ethos of personal and professional development, underpinned by adherence to the UKRI New Deal for PGR. The CDT for CCAI which draws on Northumbria University's extensive track record for research in digital citizens and the digital economy, our innovative background in AI and software development education, and our rich heritage in design education.

The vision for the CDT is also co-founded on a place-based civic mission. The North East of England is marked by the worst statistics in England and Wales for unemployment, social mobility, low pay, rates of disability, household deprivation, health, child poverty, digital exclusion, and has relatively low educational attainment. Thus, our region has a high proportion of citizens who are, already, most vulnerable to potential negative effects of AI and whose voices are least likely to be heard in its design. The CDT for CCAI will provide place-based training that recognises and responds to these statistics, facilitating opportunities for student-led knowledge exchange for social and economic benefit. CCAI will also prioritize and embrace inter-disciplinarity and inclusivity in its research as well as its people and processes. Entry will be designed to accommodate a diversity of professional and disciplinary student backgrounds, career paths, and personal circumstances.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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