Queen Mary University of London has launched a new DeepMind scholarship as part of an effort to get more women into the field of artificial intelligence (AI).

There’s a chronic lack of women working in most science and engineering-related roles but AI has been called out as being one of the least diverse industries. Women are currently under-represented by a ratio of 3:1, according to the World Economic Forum.

Queen Mary said it will use the money to fund four AI masters programmes for women during the academic year 2019/2020. The money will go towards tuition fees and living costs.

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“DeepMind is proud to be working with Queen Mary to help address the gender imbalance in our field,” said Demis Hassabis, co-founder and chief executive of DeepMind, in a statement.

“We believe that AI will be a transformative technology that will positively impact all sections of society, so it is essential that those developing it are representative of the population as a whole.”

The purpose of the MSc is to get people jobs in AI and it has been designed in partnership with the government’s Institute of Coding.

The size of DeepMind’s donation was not disclosed.

DeepMind also funds scholarships at Oxford University, Imperial, Cambridge and University College London (UCL), but this is the first one specifically for women.

The AI research lab, acquired by Google in 2014, reported losses of £470m in 2018, up from £281m in 2017.

Last year, DeepMind spent £14m on academic donations and sponsorships.

It’s worth noting that other tech firms like Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook also fund university scholarships.

 

 

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