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Human-Centred Artificial Intelligence with Guided Learning (Application Ref: SF19/EE/CIS/WOO)

Project Description

Applications based on artificial intelligence (AI) are increasingly informing decisions in critical areas of our society – including strategy, defence and policymaking, to name but a few. The advent of AI promises to overcome human limitations of speed, processing and thought, opening up a whole new range of possibilities for how humans live and work. Undoubtedly, the rise of AI has also presented serious risks. AI relies on algorithms which learn from real-world data so it can, inadvertently, reinforce existing ethical biases and technical issues. As a result, the current AI systems have fallen short to work alongside humans.

The aim of this PhD project is to design the next generation of AI systems to augment human intelligence and work alongside humans. These new AI systems will be (i) lifelong learning machines – which combine the rigour of deep learning and flexibility of human to avoid catastrophic forgetting after conventional re-learning, (ii) explainable – where the AI systems are capable of explaining how it reaches a decision by visual and textual analytics, (iii) respect human values – with guided learning, AI systems can embed moral values or common sense into the decision. The learning process of new AI systems will amalgamate guided analytics with automated machine learning. This allows users to add their expertise when it is necessary and, consequently, automate the standard pieces of the analysis. The PhD project will develop AI models that behave with human-machine intelligence and to enable users to yield higher performance which is not reachable without these intelligent machines.

This project is supervised by Professor Wai Lok Woo.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF19/EE/CIS/WOO) will not be considered.

Start Date: 1 March 2020 or 1 October 2020

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Funding Notes

This is an unfunded research project.

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