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Smart Cities and AI: supporting ethical development from the bottom up.

   Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE)

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  Prof Scott deLahunta  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably qualified graduates for a fully funded PhD studentship

This transdisciplinary project aims to fill a gap in the research into the ethical development of innovative data-driven technologies for Smart Cities. These technologies, for example sensor networks, cameras, robotics and augmented reality, increasingly make use of AI for automated decision-making. This kind of decision-making raises many ethical questions for AI developer communities. One well known issue relates to facial recognition systems that are aimed at reducing crime rates, but have been shown to unfairly target some groups. After more than a decade of discussion, there is consensus on the guidelines that are necessary for ethical AI deployment, and these are widely published and disseminated. There are also many toolkits out there now that aim to implement these guidelines in practice. However, there is little research looking at how well these toolkits have led to increased awareness and positive change in the ethical know-how of developers working with AI. Therefore, this project will take a practice-based approach and combine methodologies from the humanities and social sciences with expertise in computing science and engineering. The aim is to identify tangible steps for improving ethics-in-practice in the context of Smart Cities and AI development.


UK/International (including EU) graduates with the required entry requirements

Candidate specification

Entry criteria for applicants to PHD 

·      A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average. 


the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years

·      a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)

Additional items for candidate specification

·      A 500-word statement providing evidence of the candidate’s understanding of transdisciplinary research and practice-based approaches.

Duration of study

Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Funding Notes

Bursary plus tuition fees UK/International, including EU at international rates
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