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Civica partners with University of Bath to back training of next generation of artificial intelligence leaders

Leading one of 16 new Centres for Doctoral Training, the university will train a new generation of experts in accountable, responsible and transparent artificial intelligence

Civica, the market leader in business-critical software, digital solutions and managed services for the public sector and regulated markets, has partnered with the University of Bath to support its new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Centre for Doctoral Training in Accountable, Responsible and Transparent Artificial Intelligence (ART-AI).

The new Bath centre, one of 16 announced this February as part of a £100m investment from UKRI, will recruit and train at least 60 postgraduate students from diverse backgrounds, including existing experts in AI, but also from engineering, social science and policy backgrounds to help ensure that developments in AI, and decisions on how and when to use it or not, are informed and ethical.

Professor Eamonn O’Neill, head of the Department of Computer Science at University of Bath and Director of the ART-AI CDT said: “We're delighted to lead the UKRI ART-AI from the University of Bath. The UK is at the forefront of the AI and data revolution, and explicit consideration of ethics is essential as AI increases the ability of machines to inform, augment and even replace human decision-making. ART-AI will provide a national and global lead on AI ethics and its influence on AI innovations, applications and implications.”

Projects will be co-created with partners who have specific interests and challenges in accountable, responsible and transparent AI. Civica will also offer 3-12 month project-based internships with students joining the company to work on challenges related to their research fields in AI and machine learning.

With a major South West hub and existing links with the University of Bath via its CodeIT programme, Civica works with more than 3,000 major customers across the public and private sector, to transform services for citizens and communities, with a growing focus on AI, machine learning, connected devices and automation. The company’s recent Civica Innovation Partners programme has attracted wide-spread interest from across the UK’s tech community.

Steve Thorn, Executive Director, Digital at Civica commented: “We’re so pleased to be supporting this brand new UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training at the University of Bath. The use of AI is expanding rapidly across all sectors so it’s now imperative that we’re training the next generation of thought leaders in the area. With their knowledge, we can make the best informed decisions as to how AI can be used both effectively and ethically in the future to enhance all industries.”

The ART-AI CDT is led by University of Bath as part of a consortium of more than 30 partners including Civica, plus the Financial Conduct Authority, the Church of England, Rolls Royce and a network of leading global universities. The first cohort of PhD students will begin their training in October 2019. The 16 new AI CDTs, based in 14 UK universities, will train 1,000 PhD students. The funding includes £23m contributed from universities and £78m from partners.