The University of Edinburgh, in partnership with Microsoft Research are offering a 3-year full-time funded PhD. The focus of the project will be ethics and machine intelligence.

Digital devices and services have become an embedded feature of everyday life.  Such computational systems, not always visible to the user, routinely collect ever-broadening types of human data in order to provide intuitive, intelligent and responsive services. Machine Intelligence (MI) is the engine upon which our core systems rely to the extent that, if all algorithms ceased to work, it could be ‘the end of the world as we know it’. However, as such systems become increasingly autonomous, so human agency is reduced. It is now commonplace for systems to distribute cognition, control and autonomy between humans and computational agents, relying upon complex, combined and sensitive data; creating human/machine constellations. Necessarily, where humans are implicated, matters of ethics arise.

The proposed PhD research would seek to investigate how we might design and create meaningful interfaces for intelligible, inspectable and accountable systems. Fundamentally, we wish in a practical way to support and inform a system that is socially sensitive, ethically robust, and intelligible by design.

The scholarship includes a stipend of £15,500 per year and can be applied for via the announcement webpage.