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PhD Studentship: Artificial Intelligence for Future Society: Smart Cities

University of Southampton - School of Electronics and Computer Science - Web Science Institute (WSI)

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Southampton
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 1st August 2019
Closes: 1st November 2019

Supervisor: Prof Dame Wendy Hall
Co-supervisor Prof Pauline Leonard

Project description

The Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton is offering a 4-year funded PhD position in Artificial Intelligence for Future Society (AIFS) in collaboration with Fawley Waterside Ltd (FWL).

Project Description

The aim of the project is to investigate how to make a liveable, “smart city” development that addresses the challenges of new technologies and emerging social and economic trends.  The project will build on recent University of Southampton research including: Trusted Data infrastructures in the AI Economy; Smart cities; Democratic Innovation; Economy Society and Governance; the Work Futures Research Centre; the Centre for Population Change; the Care Life Cycle Programme; and the Liveable Cities project.

You will be supervised by an interdisciplinary academic team and will be part of a broader cohort of students investigating the challenges of a future AI society.  Your research will be supported by regular supervision meetings, progress reviews and training relevant to your particular PhD project.   You may follow appropriate MSc modules according to your individual needs, such as Foundations of AI; Deep Learning; Machine Learning; Foundations of Data Science; Applied Statistical Modelling; Data Visualisation; and Computational Statistics. You may also have the opportunity to take up a three month internship as part of your studies.

About the WSI

The Web Science Institute (WSI) is an entrepreneurial non-profit research institute within the University of Southampton.  It stimulates globally-recognised cross-disciplinary research, training and innovation in the digital economy, cultures and social practices built on Web, Data Science and AI technologies.   The WSI co-ordinates the Web Science Trust Network of Laboratories (WSTNET), an international network of 20 research laboratories that supports conferences and researcher exchanges.  The Centre for Doctoral Training in Web Science Innovation is also hosted by the WSI.  There are close links with the University’s Centre for Machine Intelligence (CMI). Students will also benefit from opportunities offered by the University of Southampton’s partnership with the Alan Turing Institute.

About Fawley Waterside Ltd

Fawley Waterside Ltd (FWL) is a development consortium looking to build an “Intelligent Merchant Community”, the first town-scale ‘smart cityʼ in either America or Europe, on a site near Southampton, UK.  Partnering with tech companies IBM, Vodafone, Siemens and CISCO, their ambition is to create not just a city with “intelligent technical infrastructure” but to design an intelligent social ecosystem that takes into account emerging shifts in social and cultural life.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements: 

Candidates should have, or expect to gain, a first or upper second-class degree in a relevant subject (Computer Science, Software Engineering) and have experience of social science research, Advanced AI experience is not needed.

Start date: September 2019

Duration: Four years (full-time)

How to apply:

Guidance about PhD applications to the School of Electronics and Computer Science can be found here:

Applications should include:

Your Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Mark Weal ( or Alison Tebbutt ( at the Web Science Institute.

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