Call for proposals – AI Intelligibility and Public Trust

Proposal Submission Deadline: Friday, 29th March

Please visit the Call page for full information. 

Detailed application instructions here. 

The call: This call represents the first of nine waves of funding from the EPSRC Network Plus in Human Data Interaction (HDI). Each call will be on a different theme, and these themes will frame and support a network of projects responding to the challenges of Human-Data Interaction. Over the next three years, these projects will join us to define a new research agenda for ethical data-driven systems. This call is focused on AI Intelligibility and Public Trust.

Why Human Data Interaction?  We are increasingly surrounded by intelligent systems.  These systems are driven by algorithms; sets of instructions, or rules, for a computer to follow.  These systems define much of our everyday experience, mostly without our oversight.  How do these systems reach their judgments? What data do they use? Why did they decide this thing and not something else? How can users change the outcome?  How should these systems present their decisions?  These questions, and others, are arising again and again. Helping people to understand how these systems work is a core concern for Human Data Interaction. 

Scope of the call: The HDI team ran a cross-sectoral workshop in December to help us shape up the theme. Based on the outcomes of that workshop, we particularly welcome proposals that address any of the following issues:

  1. Trusting Algorithmic Function; how can we ensure that the design of systems supports user understanding and trust? How might we represent /make usable concepts such a validity, probability, accuracy, correlation? 
  2. Tolerance of Bias; What bias is tolerable, when is it needed, and how to we expose/understand it?
  3. Active Data Subjects; How can systems empower data subjects, through design? How can users better understand their rights? How can recourse be built into data-intensive systems?  

These issues are not exclusive – we will consider all projects that address issues core to AI intelligibility and public trust. All projects must also address one or more of the tenets of HDI (legibility, agency, negotiability). The application process is lightweight, and we particularly welcome applications from early career researchers. 

Funding available: In this call we aim to fund one project at 50k, one at 10k and 3 at £2,500. Over the coming 18 months there will be eight further calls under different themes. Please visit the site or follow us on Twitter for updates. Please submit by the deadline – Friday, 29th March. 

Fast turnaround and simple application process: The application process will be less onerous than a traditional research council bid – this is ideal for early career researchers, novel cross disciplinary research, or new and cutting edge ideas.  See the website for example projects. 

Lead Organisation: To adhere to the conditions of funding, each project must be led by an academic institution. We are, however, seeking to fund projects that represent more than one sector and so we particularly welcome projects with non-academic partners.

Application forms

Application document – docx

Application document – pdf