The pursuit of AI education

Meet Sylvia Christie, our schooling partnerships supervisor who’s performed a number one position 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 goal startup that elevated entry to psychological healthcare. Then I acquired 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’ position that introduced collectively all the things I cherished about these totally different environments – the pace and pleasure of a tech startup, impact-focussed targets, and the fascination of working with good researchers. It appeared unattainable to mix all these items. Then, enter stage left: DeepMind.

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

What drew you to the schooling staff?

I imagine in making certain that individuals from all walks of life, and particularly these from underrepresented communities and backgrounds, are in a position to contribute to the event of AI. I’ve had the prospect to work on some actually particular initiatives at DeepMind, however the scholarships programme is – by far – probably the most personally rewarding programme I’ve ever been concerned in. Each educational 12 months, we get to see the brand new crop of proficient AI students turn out to be a part of a global 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 limitations for college kids from underrepresented backgrounds who wish to pursue postgraduate research in synthetic intelligence (AI) and associated fields. 

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

My days are all the time a combination. I prefer to have a little bit of focus time day by day to advance project-based or planning work, however the remainder of the time might be filled with conferences, staff catch-ups, or talking to college students and our companions at universities all over the world. It’s tremendous various, and by no means boring.

We’re a comparatively new staff, so we’ve had the chance to create our group tradition from the beginning. Personally, I discover the schooling partnerships staff to be considerate, respectful, and enjoyable! We’ve grown quite a bit too. Within the final 12 months, we’ve welcomed staff members to assist launch six new partnerships and increase our schooling programmes.

What’s the most important problem your staff faces?

Discovering the suitable methods for DeepMind to make a constructive impression is crucial problem. We have to make it possible for our work drives actual change within the wider group and for AI schooling extra typically. It’s a very good problem to have as a result of it’s a possibility as properly. 

How did you have a good time the five-year anniversary?

We held a Students Summit. It’s a digital celebration of the programme, and the superb mentors, college students, and alumni. It was an incredible week with unbelievable panel discussions with DeepMinders and business and educational 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 brief cinematic movie beneath as a brand new method of talking to audiences concerning the scholarship programme in a inventive method. I’m so pleased with the students concerned and the superb work of our staff. Watch all six movies at

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

How essential collaboration is. The Scholarships programme wouldn’t be potential with out our superb 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. 

So far, we’ve had over 335 students come via our programme. This educational 12 months, we’ll be welcoming as much as 115 new students at 26 educational establishments in 13 nations, so it’s actually thrilling to see the programme going from energy to energy annually. 

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

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

To these on the lookout for a task at DeepMind – don’t rely your self out. I typically hear from individuals who say it feels intimidating. The imposter syndrome is actual, and it’s for me as properly, to at the present time. However should you care concerning the mission, and are keen about your work, go for it!

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