Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

“Creating an inclusive culture is not about one-off initiatives – it’s about ongoing mentorship, governance and a clear narrative that building diversity is crucial for success. (Gill Valentine, June 2018, Nature)

Summary of the Centre's EDI Strategy:

The Centre’s approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion issues will be to follow the Faculty of Engineering and the University of Bristol policies and strategic priorities, but also to take some additional ED&I actions not yet adopted by the rest of the University. This is further described in the Centre’s overall ED&I strategy document (available upon request). Here we highlight how we intend to exploit the particular subject matter of the Interactive AI CDT.

The taught and supervised content of the CDT will include material on equality, diversity and inclusion in the design and use of AI: for example, potential issues with demographic bias in AI algorithms, and mitigations. By teaching this content we aim to enable CDT students to be ambassadors for good ED&I practices within the discipline of AI in their future careers. We will also use some of the project-based teaching in Applied Data Science and the group project to have students develop AI tools for exploring and exposing manifestations of algorithmic bias, discriminatory practices embedded in datasets, etc. In the context of an AI CDT we view this as a particularly suitable route to promote ED&I awareness both among the students and among users of the tools.

Another diversity issue (in the widest sense) for AI is the current concentration of cutting-edge AI capabilities in a small number of technology companies. The CDT aims to encourage ‘democratisation’ of AI technology which is clearly reflected in its comprehensive range of industry partners, from large multinationals to local SMEs. By training a diverse cohort of PhD students in this technology, some of whom will join smaller companies and start-ups, we aim to reduce the inequality between different companies within the sector, enabling greater inclusion and more creative diversity of technical approaches, thoughts, and experiences in AI.

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