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March 02, 2021 Tuesday 04:48:06 PM IST

UCL partners with Facebook AI Research to deliver PhD programme

UCL has agreed a four-year research partnership with Facebook AI Research (FAIR), enabling PhD students to spend time at both UCL Computer Science and Facebook. This new strategic partnership between UCL and FAIR, sees Facebook’s PhD programme launch in the UK for the first time.

In the coming year four UCL PhD students will join the new research AI programme; it is hoped students will continue to benefit from the UCL programme over the next four years.

Each of the UCL students will be assigned FAIR mentors based at the FAIR London site, well known for its work in 3D computer vision, knowledge intensive and multilingual Natural Language Programming (NLP), and reinforcement learning (RL).

While the partnership’s focus will be on attracting students with interest in those areas, it will also welcome those conducting research in emerging areas of AI, as well as students from diverse backgrounds.

The FAIR London site already hosts a number of PhD students, including Patrick Lewis, a third year research student working on teaching machines to answer any natural language question. Patrick is equally immersed at both UCL and Facebook, noting: “Unlike a summer internship, the FAIR PhD programme provides the continuity that allows for deeper collaboration, enabling us to build out long research visions and execute on them."

UCL Computer Science is also one of four UK participants in ELLIS - a European AI network of excellence comprising 30 different research institutions. UCL’s newly established Centre for Artificial Intelligence in the Computer Science Department and other machine learning–related departments, boast world-renowned AI scholars including Professors John Shawe-Taylor, Lourdes Agapito, David Barber, Emine Yilmaz, and Arthur Gretton. Several FAIR London researchers, including Tim Rocktäschel, Edward Grefenstette, and Sebastian Riedel, also have dual affiliation at UCL.