Beyond ‘Smart Cities’– Human Data Interaction and the Future of the City – DEADLINE EXTENSION to Fri 30th Aug

Call for Projects: Beyond ‘Smart Cities’– Human Data Interaction and the Future of the City

Proposal submission deadline: UPDATE – Friday, 30th August

We have been approached by a few different people/groups who have reported major difficulties working towards a proposal over the last month, as a lot of university academics and research admin have been on holiday leave.

We have decided that it is only fair to offer a blanket extension in light of this to Friday 30th August.

We feel that it will give everyone a chance to produce the best possible proposal. If you have managed to do a proposal in the original time, you will have the chance to improve it if it was rushed. For those of you who did not think that timeline would work given leave, maybe there is a chance that you can revisit a project and get something together when people are more available.

New projects funded!

Four new projects have been funded from the first call on the theme AI and Public Trust after our first workshop in Cambridge.

In the end, we could fund four projects.

  1. Rights of Childhood: Affective Computing and Data Protection. Prof A McStay, Bangor University, G. Rosner, IoT Privacy Forum
  2. Public trust and understanding of online content moderation, and its impacts on public discourse. Dr C. Happer, Dr T. Storer, Prof. A Hoskins, & A., Alkharashi, University of Glasgow.
  3. Public Trust in Data Driven Systems and AI Futures. Dr R. Steedman, University of Sheffield,  Dr. R. Jones, BBC R&D.
  4. Pivot Strategy: Making Ethics Intelligible and Negotiable.Dr. F. Ustek-Spilda and Dr. A. Powell, London School of Economics.

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

 

AI Intelligibility and Public Trust theme workshop

Human Data Interaction Network Plus: Workshop and Funding Call

‘AI Intelligibility and Public Trust’

 Date: Tuesday 4th December 2018

Timings: 10:00-16:00

Location: Microsoft Research, Cambridge, UK

Organisers: Abigail Sellen (Deputy Director, Microsoft Research Cambridge), Michael Evans (BBC), Dan Hill (Arup), Ewa Luger (University of Edinburgh)

Aim of the workshop: This will be the first workshop of the EPSRC Network Plus in Human Data Interaction (HDI).  Our aim is to draw together people from all three sectors (academia, public and third sector) to start making connections/partnerships and think about projects and research issues that you’d like us to fund. We aim to use use the ‘lens’ of the HDI conceptual framework, to examine and establish technical goals in the domain of AI intelligibility and public trust. (For an introduction to HDI, see https://hdi-network.org/intro_to_hdi/.)

The theme’s organisers will then use the workshop presentations and discussions to define theme goals, to advance HDI’s tenets of legibility, agency and negotiability in ways appropriate to this domain. In January 2019, we will launch a call for projects centred on these goals. We aim for a portfolio of projects that cover a range of theoretical, technical, and practice-based work. We will use a far-reaching and inclusive approach: requiring that project proposals are assessed not only on technical goals, but on factors such as their ethical and/or social impact, and their strategy for sustainability beyond the term of the NetworkPlus. To allow applicants flexibility of scope, we will offer three levels of funding: £50k, £10k and £2500. In order to stimulate genuine co-production, we will work with public and third sector partners directly, to create theme goals, project topics, and problem/benefit statements, actively matching them to people from other sectors. A public/third sector member will be one of those assessing each project proposal.

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.  It has been said that if every algorithm in the world stopped working at the same time, it would be the end of the world as we know it.  Algorithms are part of our everyday lives; in our smartphones, our laptops, our cars, appliances and toys – and at the systemic level in areas such as banking, airplane scheduling and piloting, trading and record keeping.  Our actions generate the data that keeps these systems in operation.

AI is the latest iteration of algorithmically driven systems. The algorithms we are now imagining behave less like those of old and more like the human brain.  With that comes a greater level of complexity, but also a greater level of obscurity.  When the context is relatively benign, for example recommendations of what you might buy next, then this isn’t such a problem.  But what happens when the system decides whether you can access medication, or whether you get hired, or who gets elected?

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 and change how these systems work is a core concern for Human Data Interaction.

Apply to attend: If you’d like to attend, or have any questions, please contact Alan Munro (Alan.J.Munro {at} glasgow.ac.uk), stating: (a) your organisation (b) a few sentences on your interest in the topic, and (c) the sector you represent.  Places are limited, and will be selected to ensure diversity and sectoral spread.  Attendance is free, and lunch is provided.

We look forward to hearing from you!!

The HDI team