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Director of Generative AI Laboratory and Chair of Generative AI

The University of Edinburgh

Location: Edinburgh
Salary: Competitive
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 29th November 2023
Closes: 16th February 2024

We’re looking for a world-leading researcher who will be at the heart of shaping the future of Generative AI at the University of Edinburgh. You’ll provide strategic leadership to bring to life our strategic vision to unite our world-leading research and innovation in AI to develop safe solutions and systems for industry and government and bring substantial benefits to those who use them.    Our new Generative AI Laboratory (GAIL), that you’ll lead, aims to develop techniques for generative AI in key areas such as robotics, drug discovery, medical diagnoses, semi-conductor development, and tackling climate change. 

This initiative builds on 60 years of research into AI and Computer Science at the University.  Since 1963 working on AI Research, Edinburgh has been a world-leader in developing some of the systems that underpin Generative AI, including machine learning and Natural Language Processing.  Through GAIL we aim to create a unique ecosystem and infrastructure around (open source) Large Language Models, harnessing our expertise in Natural Language Processing and Generation, as well as Speech Technology. Combining this with our expertise in Machine Learning, extensive compute and data facilities (such as Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (soon to be the home of the £900m Exascale) and Edinburgh International Data Facility), and complementary centres such as Creative Informatics and the Centre for Technomoral Futures, GAIL has the potential to make a significant impact in this area.

In this newly established role you will use your strong leadership skills to build an international and world-leading reputation for the University in Generative AI research and translational activities.  The role will be based in the School of Informatics, working across the University to develop close synergies with other schools, centres and academics across the University and build partnerships globally.  

The successful candidate will be leading the GAIL laboratory, a major new investment from the University. Initial investment includes significant compute resources combined with funding to establish a solid group of researchers:  three open-ended (tenured) academic positions, three tenure track research fellow positions and three fixed-term research assistant positions; together with the appointment of professional services posts to support GAIL activity – a Manager of GAIL and a Communications Manager – alongside appointment of a PR agency to support the public relations strategy and campaigns; a Business Development Executive and a Computing Engineer.

We’re looking for candidates with a proven track record in a subfield of Generative AI, such as natural language processing including large language models, computer vision, and/or machine learning; strong influencing and leadership skills that inspire broader engagement of researchers with public and private stakeholders and a proven track record in knowledge exchange and impact activities in complex international and multi-stakeholder contexts.

The successful applicant will have a five-year appointment as Director of GAIL, renewable by mutual agreements, and an open ended (tenured) appointment as Chair of Generative Artificial Intelligence.

As a University of Edinburgh employee, you’ll be able to take advantage of all kinds of benefits, including a substantial pension scheme, generous annual leave, flexible working patterns to allow you to achieve a good work life balance.

For a confidential discussion, please contact Katharine Price or Lauren Crichton on 0141 212 7555.

Closing date: Friday 16th February 2024

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