IT Systems and Data Protection

11.06.20

2,500 applications open for world's first AI and data science courses

The Government has opened applications for the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI) and data science conversion courses.

The Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden announced yesterday (June 10), that 2,500 graduates can apply for a place on new masters courses starting in Autumn 2020.

Of the 2,500 places available, 1,000 scholarships will be offered to students from underrepresented backgrounds, in a bid to arm people with digital skills that will land them employment in the UK’s thriving AI and data science sectors.

A fund of £24m has been created by Government, the Office for Students, universities and industry partners to boost potential capacity of students, as well as funding the scholarships.

Applications are open to people returning to work after a career break or looking to retrain, as well as under-represented groups within the AI and digital workforce.

A Tech Nation and Royal Society report highlighted that women only account for 19% of the tech workforce and only 4% are from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. To try and balance this under representation, 1000 scholarships will specifically target the female, black and disabled demographics.

READ MORE: The rise of bots - AI in the public sector

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Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“It is vital we increase diversity across our tech sector and give everyone with the aptitude and talent the opportunity to build a successful career.

“This will help make sure artificial intelligence developed in the UK reflects the needs and make-up of society as a whole which will also help mitigate the risk of biased technologies being developed.

“Through these new AI and data science conversion courses we are working with industry and academia to develop and maintain the best AI workforce in the world.”

New technology is expected to help tackle some of the greatest social challenges of our time, including tackling climate change, and disease detection.

LISTEN: Ep. 16 Cllr Nick Forbes - Net zero and an inclusive economy

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