Ministerial visit marks launch of transformative AI training programme
Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, Paul Scully MP, visited the University of Surrey on Tuesday 31 October to see cutting-edge artificial intelligence at work on the day the government announced a £118m package to boost the UK’s AI skills base.
The visit coincided with an announcement that the University of Surrey and the StoryFutures unit at Royal Holloway, University of London, will be the home of a new UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in AI for Digital Media Inclusion. It also took place on the eve of the UK's AI Safety Summit, hosted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Bletchley Park, which around 100 world leaders are expected to attend.
This CDT will combine Surrey’s world-leading expertise in people-centred artificial intelligence (AI) with Royal Holloway’s track record of innovation in next-generation digital media. We will establish a unique creative industry hub for high-quality training in responsible AI, inclusive design and creative skills, catalysing UK leadership in media inclusion for the whole population.
A unique training programme
The CDT will train a new generation of more than 80 industry-ready PhDs to lead the transformation to responsible AI-enabled inclusive media. This will forge a ground-breaking challenge-led model, co-designed and co-delivered with creative industry and end-user partners to remove significant real-world barriers to media inclusion.
Working in multi-disciplinary cohort teams to develop leadership, peer-learning and teamwork, we aim to deliver comprehensive multi-faceted AI solutions combining creative, technical, behavioural, linguistic, social and legal expertise, designed with inclusion for all at their heart.
Our PhD cohorts will benefit from a CDT that brings together two world-leading centres; Surrey’s Institute for People-centred AI, number one in the UK, with over 35 years of pioneering research at the forefront of fundamental AI and machine learning and StoryFutures’ experience of leading creative innovation in next-generation inclusive digital media at Royal Holloway.
A partnership with the creative industry
AI-enabled inclusive media is a key driver for the creative industries to grow audience size, loyalty and revenue but this is severely limited by access to individuals with key AI and creative skills.
Creating digital media content and services that are inclusive for all is essential for societal equality and a business necessity to increase engagement for diverse audiences, the 'Purple pound' alone is valued at over £274bn per year in the UK.
Our challenge-led training will foster a responsible creative AI ecosystem partnering with 50+ organisations from big-tech corporations to creative SMEs and user organisations to address real-world inclusive media challenges and realise the impact on society and the UK economy.
AI can be a true leveller of people and a liberator of ideas. At Surrey, we focus on nurturing the soul of AI with inclusivity, diversity and fairness at its heart.Professor Max Lu, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Surrey
We welcome the announcement of the CDT in AI for Digital Media Inclusion. This is a recognition of the importance of people-centred AI doctoral training and a vehicle to help us deliver a transformative challenge-led programme in collaboration with Royal Holloway and all the industry partners who have signed up for this innovative approach.
Alongside our partners at the University of Surrey, this new Centre for Doctoral Training in AI will allow us to continue supporting the next generation of leaders within the UK’s creative industries.Professor Julie Sanders, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Royal Holloway
I am proud that the new CDT, as part of our StoryFutures Unit here at Royal Holloway, will build on our initiatives and programmes that create real-world change from world-leading research.
Through partnerships such as this, we can look to unlock inclusive research for the creative industries, and help produce transformative education and research which addresses the needs of today and the future.
Safe, responsible AI innovation will deliver benefits right across the economy and society. The advances it could unlock for our creative industries are the perfect example of this.Paul Scully MP, Minister of State at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology
With government backing, this centre will break down accessibility barriers in digital media by using AI to create personalised media experiences, meaning everyone can access information and entertainment regardless of age, background, or disabilities.
We are truly excited about delivering our CDT in AI for Digital Media Inclusion.Professor Adrian Hilton, Director of the Surrey Institute for People-Centred AI
We will forge an innovative challenge-led training programme, seed a new generation of transformative creative AI professionals and propel the UK to become a global leader in future inclusive media services.
Our CDT empowers students to become trailblazers in the AI-driven inclusive media landscape, steering the course towards a future where inclusion is central to digital media innovation.Professor Yi-Zhe Song, Inaugural Director of Centre for Doctoral Training in AI for Digital Media Inclusion
This program signifies our unwavering dedication to cultivating a more equitable, inclusive, and innovative digital landscape, positioning the UK as a global pioneer in this transformative field.
We’re delighted by the level of industry and third sector support we’ve received for the project. Our partners are excited about our new challenge-led approach, about the opportunity to work closely with our students and the idea that they can take up and scale the ideas that the research creates.Dr Andrew Rogoyski, Director of Innovation and Partnerships at the Surrey Institute for People-Centred AI
Prof Adrian HiltonDirector Surrey Institute for People-Centred AI Director of Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing
Dr Andrew RogoyskiDirector of Innovation and Partnerships at the Surrey Institute for People-Centred AI
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