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Meet the student making search engines more powerful and less biased

· Aparajita Haldar is researching how to enhance language understanding and common-sense reasoning techniques using Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms and data representation so retrieval models are more powerful and less biased

· Aparajita is an international PhD researcher at the University of Warwick, on the Feuer International Scholarship in Artificial Intelligence

· She hopes her work can mitigate historical biases in gender and race that are already embedded in machine learning data and algorithms

Artificial Intelligence is developing every day, and shaping the future of AI is Aparajita Haldar, who received the Feuer Scholarship from technology mogul Jonathan Feuer, enabling her to research making information retrieval models more powerful and less biased at the University of Warwick.PhD student Aparajita Haldar - Feuer International Scholar

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.

Aparajita Haldar was the first ever scholar, after beating 200 applicants from 45 countries to the post.

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.

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, useful for making search engines and recommendation systems more powerful. 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 three Feuer Scholars, focusing on Aparajita Haldar

Machine learning algorithms might often be biased based on sensitive attributes such as gender or race, due to skewed data distributions or historically biased training. Aparajita is hoping that using AI algorithms she can eliminate such biases, as machines can be taught to understand language and the context of language better.

Following her PhD, Aparajita hopes to continue in academia and continue researching and teaching others all about AI and how it can change the world.

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.”

Jonathan Feuer is currently on the lookout for the next Jonathan Feuer International Scholarship in Artificial Intelligence. This will be the fourth recruit, after Aparajita, Harrison Wilde and Funmi Kesa.

He is looking for students with aspiration as well as intellectual aptitude. You should possess an innovative approach to problem solving, well developed technical skills, a willingness to work in a cross-disciplinary training and research setting. If you think you’ve got what it takes you can apply at: https://warwick.ac.uk/services/dc/schols_fund/scholarships_and_funding/feuer/applyonline/ applications close on the 13th March 2020.

ENDS

4 MARCH 2020

NOTES TO EDITORS

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

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_33.jpg
The three scholars together, focusing on Aparajita Haldar

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

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