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EPSRC PhD Studentship - Intelligibility through design in AI and data-driven media

Project Description

The creation of media experiences is a vibrant part of our creative economy, conducted by a range of skilled craftspeople; filmmakers, journalists, music producers, many others. Increasingly, the technology supporting these creative people in their professional craft is likely to include data-driven decision making, often enabled by methods such as Machine Learning. Similarly, the people using this media content—the audience—are increasingly having their experience driven, in whole or in part, by such algorithms.

To be effective and trusted partners for creative professionals, and their audiences, the decisions taken by the Artificial Intelligence (AI) embodied in these algorithms, need to be intelligible: tools that do unexpected, explicable things will not be helpful and are likely to conflict with rather than complement to human creative efforts, or to disrupt the enjoyment of experiencing media.

The Project:
This project will help achieve the Intelligible AI that is an essential component of data-driven automation in many media creation and consumption contexts. The research will focus on building detailed understanding of how critical it is that technologies’ behaviours are intelligible to the people working with them, in a range of creative / media situations, and the development of design approaches that can achieve that necessary understanding between human and machine.

The PhD will be situated in the School of Design at Edinburgh College of Art in the University of Edinburgh. The student will be supervised jointly by Dr Ewa Luger at Edinburgh College of Art (University of Edinburgh), and Drs Rhianne Jones and Michael Evans at BBC Research and Development in Salford. The student will have the opportunity to be based at each site for a significant proportion of the four-year studentship. In addition to PhD fees and a generous enhanced stipend, the studentship funding also covers travel, research costs and equipment, including a laptop.

The Person:
This is a multidisciplinary research area, and we are keen to receive applications from people with a wide range of experience and from across the academic disciplines. For example, you might come from a psychology or social science background and be keen to understand and influence the societal and human impact of some of the biggest technological forces of recent decades. Alternatively, perhaps your academic qualifications are from technology or the computer sciences, but you wish to develop your career in the area of human-computer interaction and the role of technology in society. Candidates from entirely different academic disciplines are also welcome, particularly if they have relevant professional experience, such as in the media industry or the third sector.

Regardless of previous specialism, the successful applicant for the studentship should (by October 2019) have a First or high Upper-Second class honours degree and, preferably, a Masters-level qualification or comparable professional experience. A key aim of this studentship is to help develop a future research leader in this important domain. As such, candidates should expect to learn new, cross-disciplinary skills during the project, including those related to empirical study design, data science/analysis and cutting-edge technology.

For further details, including information on how to apply, please visit our website.

Funding Notes

Tuition fees are paid at the Home/EU rate (£4,327 in 2019/20). UK/EU applicants only are eligible to apply for this studentship. Potential applicants should note the residence requirements for this studentship published by the EPSRC. Stipend: £19,500 in 2019/20 (increasing annually with the rate of inflation).

How good is research at University of Edinburgh in Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 43.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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