Responsible governance of machine vision technologies funded PhD Studentship

Level of study
Doctoral research
Subject area
Law, Computer Science
EU, Overseas (Non-EU), UK
Type of Award
Deadline for applying
Closed 18/02/2019 (Note: competition closed for this year)

Award Description

This is an exciting opportunity to undertake a PhD aimed at critically examining the social, ethical and legal implications of rapidly developing contemporary research in the field of machine vision, which utilises machine learning techniques to computer vision and image processing (and includes human-centric computer vision techniques and approaches). These technologies, which lie at the cutting edge of AI research and innovation, have already generated a wide range of applications, including facial recognition and the production of ‘deep fakes’, with potentially far-reaching societal implications. 

The project will critically map and interrogate the range of current, emerging and foreseeable applications of machine vision techniques, identifying and evaluating their potential benefits and threats, with a view to identifying how these technologies might be responsibly governed. 

The candidate will be attached to both the Law School and the School of Computer Science, working under the supervision of Professor Karen Yeung, a leading legal scholar in the field of ‘machine ethics’ and the responsible governance of emerging technology, together with a member of the Intelligent Robotics Lab in the School of Computer Science with expertise in machine vision.   

Value of Award

Successful candidates will commence study in 2018-19 if possible.

The studentship is available for three years full-time and will cover PhD tuition fees for UK/EU and international students, plus a stipend £14,777 per annum (2018/19 Research Council rate).

Eligibility Criteria

This is an interdisciplinary project which involves both humanities, social scientific and computer science perspectives on machine vision applications. Applicants from a humanities or engineering background are welcome. Candidates should have either a background in a relevant humanities or social scientific discipline together with numeracy skills and an aptitude for programming in computer science, or a background in computer science together with an interest in the humanities.  Candidates with first class undergraduate and Masters degrees will be preferred.

How to Apply

Applications for this studentship should be sent to the College of Arts and Law Graduate School:   

Applicants are required to submit the following:

  • A CV
  • A covering letter of no more than 1,500 words explaining how your skills would contribute to this project
  • A sample of writing of no more than 5,000 words relevant to the themes of the research project
  • The names and emails of two referees (ensuring that you have contacted your referees in advance about your application for this scholarship)

For an informal discussion to find out more about the role please contact: Professor Karen Yeung via: