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Explainable, interpretable and empathetic AI


   Centre for Accountable, Responsible and Transparent AI

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  Dr Christof Lutteroth, Dr Alan Hunter, Dr Samantha Dugelay  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The use of artificial intelligence for defence applications has exploded in the past 6-7 years with a proven increase in performance compared to conventional applications. However, there is a fundamental distrust in automation by end users expecting perfection, with a misunderstanding in the reliability of AI and its limitations.

Sonar operators work under immense pressure for long periods of time with varying degrees of skills and experience. As novel algorithms for upgraded and highly capable sensors come to fruition, the operator will experience highly complex tasks and work overload. The design of AI and its interaction with the human is of paramount importance and should consider the human at the forefront of its design from inception. In order to do so, a comprehensive understanding of operators’ skills, cognitive abilities and requirements, stressors and tasks is essential to design AIs that can deliver explanations, interpretations and reasoning to a human.

The interaction between the human perspective with an AI interface/buddy is the crux of this PhD. It will therefore, involve human trials including the assessment of human ability and state, comparative human experience with and without AI, and comparative experiments of different X-AI strategies.

This PhD will explore exciting and novel mathematical concepts with strong links to human factors and could potentially define training, recruitment and AI strategies for future in service products for the next generation of smart sensors for the Royal Navy.

The student will be given the opportunity to perform 3-month secondments in Thales with a task that has a direct link to his/her PhD. The student should be open to brief periods of lab-based/off-shore work with an emphasis on data acquisition and testing in the field should the opportunity arise.

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a first or upper second class honours degree in a relevant subject. A master’s level qualification and the ability to gain UK Security Check clearance or meet the Baseline Personnel Security Standard would be advantageous (for which there are nationality rules). Desirable qualities in candidates include intellectual curiosity, a strong background in maths and programming experience.

This project is associated with the UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Accountable, Responsible and Transparent AI (ART-AI). We value people from different life experiences with a passion for research. The CDT's mission is to graduate diverse specialists with perspectives who can go out in the world and make a difference.

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form. Enquiries about the application process should be sent to .

Applications will close when a suitable candidate is found; therefore, early application is recommended.

Start date: 3 October 2022.


Funding Notes

This project is funded by a 4-year EPSRC Industrial CASE studentship with Thales UK Limited. Funding will cover all tuition fees and provide a tax-free stipend at the UKRI minimum doctoral rate (£16,062 per annum in 2022/23, increased annually in line with the GDP deflator). EPSRC iCASE studentships are open to both Home and International students; however, in line with guidance from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the number of awards available to International candidates will be limited to 30% of the total iCASE awards available to the university in 2022/23.

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