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Collective augmented intelligence and decision making with AI


   Centre for Accountable, Responsible and Transparent AI

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  Dr Janina Hoffmann  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Bath United Kingdom Artificial Intelligence Data Analysis Data Science Government Machine Learning Psychology Public Policy Software Engineering

About the Project

This interdisciplinary PhD will address challenges in the design, development and deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) to aid human decision making. Working closely with Civica, a leading global software company, your research will provide a foundation for AI-supported human decision making, ultimately influencing state of the art decision support systems.

People make judgements and decisions every day, often in social groups from small teams to companies to government organisations. AI is starting to play a major role in that collective decision making, in many cases providing information and recommendations to human decision makers and in some cases with decision making delegated to the AI.

Civica provides software and expertise to support the public services sector. Civica’s applications are used by 2.5 million professionals globally to enable decision making and service delivery to 90 million people, supporting Government departments and agencies, local authorities, health and social care providers, social housing organisations, emergency services, schools and colleges. As these services begin to include and even rely on AI, we need to understand under which conditions human decision makers accept and trust AI decisions in order to effectively design systems that integrate their advice.

Key questions addressed by your research could include:

-         How can AI be used to identify and assess people at risk (e.g. of homelessness, abuse etc) and thereby inform decisions, policy changes or interventions?

-         How can we complement human knowledge and intelligence with digitised data and artificial intelligence to support decision making in complex situations?

-         How can we build trust in combined human-AI decision making and acceptance of AI-aided decisions by citizens, civil servants and wider society?

-         How can we build the required design frameworks and principles for such systems to ensure accountable, transparent and trusted decision support?

This project provides a unique opportunity to develop and implement your ideas across a wide range of exciting applications to improve quality, effectiveness, efficiency, transparency, accountability and trust in collective decision making with AI. You will work with Civica’s NorthStar innovation lab and with experts in human decision making and AI who can help you create world leading insight and innovations. Potential extensions to the research include informing public policy, determining local government spending etc.

Through the unique interdisciplinary approach of the UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Accountable, Responsible and Transparent AI, you can demonstrate not only the transformative potential of AI within this field, but also how we will meet the wider challenges and demonstrate to partners, customers, citizens and the authorities that AI technology is both effective and safe to use. Consideration will also be given to policy and procedural decision making on governance of this emerging technology, understanding the cultural and societal impacts on a range of stakeholders and where the technology may need to be adapted to build well founded trust and confidence.

This project is associated with the UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Accountable, Responsible, and Transparent AI (ART-AI).

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree in computer science, psychology, cognitive science or a related subject.  You will also need to have taken a mathematics course or a quantitative methods course at university or have at least grade B in A level maths or international equivalent. A Master’s level qualification and some programming experience would also be desirable. 

Enquiries about the project should be sent to Dr Hoffmann.

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form and be accompanied by a research proposal. Enquiries about the application process should be sent to [Email Address Removed].

Start date: 4 October 2021.


Funding Notes

Funding will cover tuition fees at the Home rate (£4,500) and maintenance at the UKRI doctoral stipend rate (£15,609 per annum in 2021/2, increased annually in line with the GDP deflator). To be eligible for Home fees, students must have the right to reside permanently in the UK and to have been ordinarily resident in the UK, EEA or Switzerland for the 3 years immediately prior to the start date. Whilst international students are eligible for the funding, please note that the fee difference (£19,300 in 2021/2) between home and international fees would not be covered by the available funding.