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Artificial Intelligence for the Future of Society

Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Dr Mark Weal Tuesday, June 01, 2021 Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Supervisory Team:   Dr Mark Weal

Project description

There is a global need to develop a large and highly skilled workforce that will drive an increasingly innovative economy, while understanding the adaptations necessary for working and living with Artificial Intelligence (AI), mitigating the risks it poses and shaping a future AI society.

The Web Science Institute (WSI) at the University of Southampton is offering a PhD studentship for multidisciplinary doctoral research in any topic relevant to our AI for the Future of Society themes, for example: 

  • Health and Social Care: collaborative data sharing and the development of data-driven systems and advances in AI for health applications
  • Social and Embodied AI: immersive media; cultural history of the Web and AI; AI art; musical improvisation algorithms as social machines
  • Democratic Futures: using new technologies to future-proof democracy and ensure the resilience of democratic norms
  • Trustworthy AI for the Future of Society: exploring the values, principles and foundations of trustworthy and ethical technologies, such as AI and Automated Decision Making (ADM)
  • You will be supervised by an interdisciplinary academic team and be part of a broader cohort of students investigating the challenges of a future AI society. Your research will be supported by relevant training, including MSc modules according to your individual needs, and you will also benefit from opportunities offered by the University’s partnership with the Alan Turing Institute.

About the Web Science Institute

The Web Science Institute (WSI) is an entrepreneurial non-profit research institute which focuses on supports globally-recognised cross-disciplinary research, training and innovation.  The Institute’s work explores digital economy, cultures and social practices based on Web, Data Science and AI technologies.  The WSI is a founder member of the Web Science Trust Network of Laboratories, hosts the Centre for Doctoral Training in Web Science Innovation and the Centre for AI for the Future of Society and is linked with the UKRI Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Hub.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Mark Weal () or Alison Tebbutt () at the Web Science Institute.

Entry Requirements

A good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent) in a computational subject or relevant discipline from the social sciences or humanities, plus evidence of multidisciplinary research. Advanced AI experience is not needed but some programming experience would be desirable.   

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 1 June 2021. Later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £15,609 (UKRI rates 2021/22) tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

How To Apply

Applications should be made online.

Select programme type (Research), 2021/22, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering. Next page select “PhD Web Science (Full time)”. As the Research Area, please add “Web Science Institute – AI for the Future of Society”.  

Applications should include:

Research Proposal – see our guidelines for preparing a research proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact:


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