A new project aimed at helping the BBC get ahead of the big editorial and creative challenges posed by artificial intelligence has been awarded funding.

The PubVIA project – short for Building Public Value via Intelligible AI – aims to demystify AI for journalists and help them anticipate the consequences of future automation.

Dr Ewa Luger and Dr Bronwyn Jones from ECA, alongside Dr Chris Elsden from Design Informatics, will bring their expertise in ethics, journalistic practice, and speculative design, to collaborate with BBC Research & Development over six months.

Alan Warburton / © BBC / Better Images of AI / Virtual Human / CC-BY 4.0
Alan Warburton / © BBC / Better Images of AI / Virtual Human / CC-BY 4.0

"This ECA project, commencing October 2022, will also signal the launch of our exciting new collaborative programme of research exploring the application of AI in public service media."

Dr Ewa Luger, Director of Research Innovation at ECA

Bronwyn, who is a practising journalist and will be leading the research, said:

“As AI, connected devices, and other forms of data-driven innovation become part of newsgathering, production, and distribution, we are seeing a raft of new risks and challenges arise.

“Voice assistants are reading headlines, automated tools are writing stories from data, algorithmic recommenders are selecting personalised news agendas, and synthetic media is disrupting the information environment.

“Working closely with journalists, we will co-develop a range of future scenarios to identify and probe the big ethical and creative challenges they raise. We’ll bring this knowledge back to inform strategies for engagement and education, as well as policy on responsible research and innovation at the public broadcaster.”

Alan Warburton / © BBC / Better Images of AI / Plant / CC-BY 4.0
Alan Warburton / © BBC / Better Images of AI / Plant / CC-BY 4.0
Alan Warburton / © BBC / Better Images of AI / Quantified Human / CC-BY 4.0
Alan Warburton / © BBC / Better Images of AI / Quantified Human / CC-BY 4.0

Ewa, who is Director of Research Innovation at ECA and project PI, said:

"We are incredibly excited about the launch of PubVIA and delighted to have been awarded funding. The research comes at a moment in time where public service journalism faces a challenging climate though the underpinning moral and democratic values have never been more important. This ECA project, commencing October 2022, will also signal the launch of our exciting new collaborative programme of research exploring the application of AI in public service media."

The PubVIA project is funded by the PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity.

*All images are taken from the Better Images of AI repository, which works to realistically portray AI and the people behind it and point towards its strengths, weaknesses, context and applications. https://betterimagesofai.org/images


Are you interested in studying Design Informatics MA at Edinburgh College of Art?



Related people