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Artificial Intelligence: Meet the students researching its future

· Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the world, with its own developments happening every day

· Three PhD students at the University of Warwick are shaping the future of Artificial Intelligence, thanks to a scholarship to Feuer Scholarship, from technology mogul Jonathan Feuer

· The students from India, Nigeria and the UK research in topics from AI in traffic management, helping the homeless and enhancing search engines

· Applications are open for the next Feuer International Scholar in AI to conquer the world of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is developing every day, and shaping the future of AI are three PhD students from the University of Warwick, who received the Feuer Scholarship from technology mogul Jonathan Feuer, enabling them to do AI research in topics from computer vision, to helping the homeless, to making information retrieval models more powerful and less biased.The three Scholars together. Left to right: Funmi Kesa, Aparajita Haldar, Harrison Wilde

The Feuer International Scholarship in Artificial Intelligence is an opportunity for students with a keen interest in AI and Computer Science to research PhD projects of their choice working with the Alan Turing Institute and industry partners, as well as receive top mentoring and potential investment opportunities.

The PhD scholarship is funded by successful Warwick alumnus Jonathan Feuer, chairman and co-founder of Eigen technologies, and was established to create a group of extremely talented, academically brilliant, world-leading young researchers who will go on to have careers in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

There are currently three Feuer Scholars on the programme, Aparajita Haldar from Bangalore, India, Harrison Wilde from Blackpool, UK, and Oluwafunmilola Kesa from Lagos, Nigeria.

Aparajita was the first to receive a scholarship. Being raised in the tech hub of India – Bangalore -- she went on to study Computer Science and Maths in Goa, also spending a semester in London and another at John Hopkins University in the US for her thesis projects.Feuer International Scholar student Aparajita Haldar

Currently Aparajita is interested in the field of retrieval problems, and is researching how to enhance language understanding and common-sense reasoning techniques in these algorithms and data representations. She comments:

“The Feuer Scholarship in AI has given me a golden ticket to study internationally in some of the best facilities in the UK, with the opportunities to meet and work with people determining the future of AI.

“I am working on using knowledge graph structures to improve existing data representations by incorporating common-sense world knowledge relationships. This has applications in creating more intelligent search engines, better product recommendation systems, and more. My work has led to lots of fun collaborations at Warwick and beyond and a couple of publications already, and I hope to keep making exciting contributions to the field during my PhD. I am also driven towards exploring the social aspects of machine learning, as a lot of the data has historical biases in gender and race, which we want to mitigate in all our models.”

The second Feuer scholar to start at Warwick was Harrison Wilde, Harrison is the first of his family to go to University and he has been a keen mathematician from a young age. He studied for an undergraduate degree in Data Science at Warwick and was enrolled on a Masters programme following this. However, he also applied for the Feuer Scholarship and was successful, allowing him to begin a PhD instead.Feuer International Scholar student Harrison Wilde

Harrison’s research regards how AI can be used to better serve vulnerable people and minorities, alongside work on fundamental improvements to learning and doing inference on privatised datasets. He spends a lot of time working with collaborators at The Alan Turing Institute in London, including the charity Homeless Link, who have a platform called StreetLink that allows members of the public to raise alerts for people sleeping rough so that outreach and aid can be provided to them.

Currently they can only find 14% of the people that are reported to them. However, Harrison has used machine learning to predict the outcomes of alerts so that they can be prioritised for review, increasing the rate at which homeless people are found by 18% when tested on historical data. He comments:

“Being able to use the resources and network at the Turing Institute and its connections to other Universities has enabled me to apply my research in AI to a real world situation, going beyond just writing a paper to now seeing it close to deployment where it can have a positive impact.

“Without the Feuer scholarship I’d likely still be studying for my Masters, but now I can have a real impact whilst challenging myself and collaborating with leading academics. With this scholarship I can develop techniques in AI to help more people in the real world and contribute to the education of the next generation of researchers in the field.”

The most recent Feuer scholar to join at Warwick is Oluwafunmilola Kesa, from Lagos Nigeria, Africa. Funmi has studied AI as part of her undergrad in Computer Science in University of Lagos, Nigeria, and at the Carnegie Mellon University Africa. She has also previously interned at IBM Research Lab Africa, and is interested in the application of machine learning and computer vision in object detection and tracking.

Funmi is currently working on how AI can be used to make computers see like humans, so they can help with traffic problems, robotics and even in the medical industry when performing surgical procedures or processing images such as scans to pick up defects. She comments:Feuer International Scholar student Funmi Kesa

“Moving to a new University and country is quite daunting, however through the Feuer Scholarship I’ve met many lovely people that make PhD life interesting. I hope to work with experts in computer vision to improve existing methods and develop new applications of these methods to improve lives.

“I want to solve problems that can help millions of people by enabling computers to see like human eyes, so that object detection and tracking in traffic, medicine, and robotics is improved.”

The Feuer scholarships have helped all three students progress their careers in AI, making them the future of Artificial Intelligence.

Applications are open for students with a keen interest in computer science and AI to be the next Feuer Scholar in Artificial Intelligence.The three scholars together

Jonathan Feuer, Warwick Alumni and founder of Feuer International Scholarship in AI at Warwick comments:

“Having co-founded an AI company which has just passed its B series round, I am keen encourage the next generation to address and crack the major imponderables of our time. This AI scholarship has no boundaries to prevent cutting edge exploration - it is down to the individual to make that determination. Besides funding this scholarship I have also provided input and advice to the scholars as they map the path from research to real life applications.”

To apply for the Feuer Scholarship please visit: https://warwick.ac.uk/services/dc/schols_fund/scholarships_and_funding/feuer/applyonline/

The deadline is March the 13th

ENDS

4 MARCH 2020

NOTES TO EDITORS

High-res images credit to the University of Warwick available at:

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/february2020/scho_02.jpg
Caption: The three Scholars together. Left to right: Funmi Kesa, Aparajita Haldar, Harrison Wilde

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/february2020/scho_33.jpg
The three scholars together, focusing on Aparajita Haldar

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/february2020/scho_23.jpg
The three scholars together, focusing on Funmi Kesa

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/february2020/scho_31.jpg
The three scholars together, focusing on Harrison Wilde

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/february2020/scho_37.jpg
The three scholars together, focusing on Funmi Kesa and Aparajita Haldar

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/february2020/scho_17.jpg
Feuer International Scholar student Harrison Wilde

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/february2020/scho_19.jpg
Feuer International Scholar student Aparajita Haldar

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/february2020/scho_12.jpg
Feuer International Scholar student Funmi Kesa

To apply for the scholarship please see: https://warwick.ac.uk/services/dc/schols_fund/scholarships_and_funding/feuer/applyonline/

To find out more about the scholars individually see:

Aparajita Haldar: https://warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/meet_the_student

Harrison Wilde: https://warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/meet_the_phd

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager- Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 2476 574 255 or +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager- Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 2476 574 255 or +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk