UCL Engineering


UCL and DeepMind: improving representation in artificial intelligence education

Global artificial intelligence (AI) company DeepMind is working with UCL to open up scholarships to underrepresented students.

Two students showing off their work on a laptop.

20 April 2022

The scholarships are enabling students from underrepresented backgrounds to study an AI masters in UCL’s Department of Computer Science. They're also providing mentorship and access to a geographically and socially diverse scholar community from around the world. 

In September 2021, we welcomed the sixth cohort of scholars supported by DeepMind and are pleased to say that applications for the 2022/23 scholarships are now open.

UCL runs a number of AI and AI-related study and research programmes. These programmes aim to train ‘AI creators’, that have a deep technical understanding of AI, with an awareness of the societal responsibilities and economic potential of this transformative technology. This builds on UCL’s long history as a research leader in AI and UCL’s commitment to education, training over 1,000 postgraduates in AI from around the world over the last 10 years.      

Professor David Barber, Director of the AI Centre at UCL and part of the UCL Computer Science department, said: "DeepMind's continuing commitment provides much-needed support to train a new generation of students and helps maintain a healthy independent AI research provision in the UK.” 

Lila Ibrahim, COO of DeepMind, commented: "At DeepMind we want to build advanced AI to expand our knowledge and find answers to some of the fundamental questions facing society. It's an ambitious and long-term goal – and we will only achieve it if we can bring people together with different experiences, knowledge and backgrounds.” 

DeepMind’s generous contributions to the UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Foundational Artificial Intelligence have enabled UCL to substantially increase its support of underrepresented students. 

DeepMind was set up by Demis Hassabis, Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman in 2010. The business came about after Demis, who’d just completed his neuroscience PhD at UCL, met research associate Shane at UCL’s Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit. 

The company has retained its strong connection with UCL throughout its development. UCL’s Marc Deisenroth has now been appointed as the DeepMind Chair of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

As well as the AI scholarships, DeepMind is working with other UCL faculties to offer scholarships for MScs in Neuroscience, and Science & Technology Studies.

Find out more about the UCL-DeepMind scholarships and how to apply here.


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DeepMind Scholars: Shaquille's story.



Credit: James Tye/UCL.

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