The pursuit of AI education—past, present, and future

Life at DeepMind


Meet Sylvia Christie, our training partnerships supervisor who’s performed a number one function in increasing our scholarship programme, which has simply celebrated its five-year anniversary.

What was your path to DeepMind?

Earlier than DeepMind, I labored for a social function startup that elevated entry to psychological healthcare. Then I bought a job at a college alongside lecturers and college students. At that time, I realised I used to be on the lookout for a ‘Goldilocks’ function that introduced collectively all the pieces I beloved about these completely different environments – the pace and pleasure of a tech startup, impact-focussed targets, and the fascination of working with good researchers. It appeared not possible to mix all these items. Then, enter stage left: DeepMind.

Throughout the interview course of, I used to be stunned by how a lot the interviewers wished to get to know me and the way I associated to the tradition DeepMind was constructing. Folks from all completely different backgrounds, disciplines, and approaches discover their technique to DeepMind, and having such an open dialogue in regards to the setting I’d be part of as a brand new worker made me really feel at house.

What drew you to the training group?

I consider in guaranteeing that individuals from all walks of life, and particularly these from underrepresented communities and backgrounds, are capable of contribute to the event of AI. I’ve had the possibility to work on some actually particular tasks at DeepMind, however the scholarships programme is – by far – essentially the most personally rewarding programme I’ve ever been concerned in. Each tutorial yr, we get to see the brand new crop of gifted AI students turn out to be a part of a world group of scholars and mentors. It’s an extremely particular second – and I can’t wait to see what all of them obtain sooner or later!

Photograph: Maximilian Kindersley

How would you describe the scholarship programme in a single sentence?

The DeepMind scholarship programme goals to take away boundaries for college kids from underrepresented backgrounds who need to pursue postgraduate research in synthetic intelligence (AI) and associated fields.

What’s your typical day like? And your group?

My days are at all times a mixture. I wish to have a little bit of focus time daily to advance project-based or planning work, however the remainder of the time might be full of conferences, group catch-ups, or chatting with college students and our companions at universities all over the world. It’s tremendous different, and by no means boring.

We’re a comparatively new group, so we’ve had the chance to create our group tradition from the beginning. Personally, I discover the training partnerships group to be considerate, respectful, and enjoyable! We’ve grown quite a bit too. Within the final yr, we’ve welcomed group members to assist launch six new partnerships and develop our training programmes.

What’s the largest problem your group faces?

Discovering the best methods for DeepMind to make a constructive influence is an important problem. We have to be sure that our work drives actual change within the wider group and for AI training extra typically. It’s an excellent problem to have as a result of it’s a possibility as nicely.

How did you have fun the five-year anniversary?

We held a Students Summit. It’s a digital celebration of the programme, and the wonderful mentors, college students, and alumni. It was a fantastic week with incredible panel discussions with DeepMinders and trade and tutorial audio system.

We additionally launched our AI By You movie sequence, the place a few of our students shared their concepts and insights on what AI means to them. The sequence additionally consists of the quick cinematic movie under as a brand new means of chatting with audiences in regards to the scholarship programme in a inventive means. I’m so happy with the students concerned and the wonderful work of our group. Watch all six movies at

What’re your greatest learnings now that the scholarship programme is 5 years previous?

How necessary collaboration is. The Scholarships programme wouldn’t be doable with out our wonderful college companions all over the world, plus contributions from individuals throughout DeepMind – together with those that initiated the programme in 2017 and the mentors who volunteer annually. And naturally, the laborious work of the students themselves.

To this point, we’ve had over 335 students come by means of our programme. This tutorial yr, we’ll be welcoming as much as 115 new students at 26 tutorial establishments in 13 international locations, so it’s actually thrilling to see the programme going from power to power annually.

Any recommendation to college students thinking about making use of for a DeepMind Scholarship? Or a job at DeepMind?

Potential students – maintain checking our web site! The scholarship utility course of and deadlines differ, college by college, so our web site is the most effective place to remain up to date.

To these on the lookout for a job at DeepMind – don’t rely your self out. I usually hear from individuals who say it feels intimidating. The imposter syndrome is actual, and it’s for me as nicely, to today. However should you care in regards to the mission, and are captivated with your work, go for it!

Leave a Comment