All Posts By

Rachael Reitz

Meet Hussein

By | Our Students | No Comments

Name

Hussein Yusufali

Academic Background

BSc Physics, University of Kent

Research Interests

Emotion in speech

What was it about the CDT programme that most appealed to you?

The CDT allows multidisciplinary backgrounds to enrol and gain fundamental foundational skills within the first six months of the programme.

The opportunity to work alongside very reputable industry partners and building industrial contacts throughout the PhD.

Having an enhanced RTSG budget to fund conference travel or educational needs is a big bonus.

The Personal Development Project (PDP), which is alongside the PhD, that has the potential to be very unique and innovative.

What are you enjoying the most about the programme so far?

Having the support of the cohort. As well as working with very knowledgeable and world-leading academics in the fields of NLP and Speech.

Using the various facilities and services provided by the Department of Computer Science, to be able to gain fundamental knowledge and ability, which will be essential for my PhD.

Can you describe a typical day?

The programme is quite flexible. Usually when I first arrive at the CDT work-space I check emails and correspondence etc. Then the rest of my day could be made up of a variety of activities including;

  • Read research papers for book club or journal club
  • Meet with academics or supervisors
  • Optional module work for the semester
  • Work with the rest of the cohort on group work, such as the mini-project

If you could give one piece of advice to current students or recent graduates interested in the CDT, what would it be?

Do not be afraid to contact the team if you have any queries or particular research interests you feel may be suited to the CDT.

Validate AI Conference 2019

By | Conference, Our Students | No Comments

Conferences and the CDT

As part of our PhD programme, our students are supported with attending  a variety of conferences that cover the wide range of SLT subjects.

In November one of our students from cohort 1, Will, took a trip down to the Royal Society in London to attend the Validate AI conference

What Will said about the day;

‘It was a very unique conference to attend. This was because the sole focus of the conference was to try and answer the question of “how do we validate AI?”. There was a lot of discussion around this question and how it applies to particular industries, such as the automotive industry, financial sector and public sector.

Some of the common themes throughout the day included:

  • Validation & verification of AI systems
  • The triple helix (public, private and academic institutions cooperating)
  • Regulation & ethics of AI
  • Developing robust & explainable AI

Overall this was a really fascinating conference to attend with some really important questions being raised and a lot of people trying to think ahead for what are the challenges of the future in the field of AI. Many of these questions will have an impact on the field of speech and language technology in a profound way, particularly with regards to the tools we use and the way we handle the personal data involved in developing speech and language models.’

A Huge Welcome to Cohort 1

By | Our Students | No Comments

They have arrived!

A big welcome to our first cohort. They arrived on 30 September 2019 and are currently getting settled in. There’s quite a lot to take in over the first few weeks and months.

Who are they? 

We have a cohort of 8 exceptionally strong students joining the CDT this year: Tom, Will, Sebastian, Peter, Claudia, Danae, Hussein and Meg. They come from a diverse range of backgrounds including: forensic speech science, music technology, maths, physics, languages, linguistics, psychology, computer sciences, and engineering disciplines. This wide range is essential to excel within the unique training environment and ambitious research opportunities the CDT offers.

So far…

They have had an exciting induction to get familiar with the campus and each other. The first few months are designed to provide them with a thorough understanding of foundational Speech and Language Technology topics through a combination of bespoke courses as well as existing taught modules.

What’s next? 

From early next year they will be working with the CDT team to refine PhD project ideas with our industrial partners with the aim of starting their PhD research from April 2020.

Countdown to New Cohort

By | Good News | No Comments

Countdown to our First Induction

The CDT will be welcoming our first students at the Induction events scheduled for next week, starting on the on 30 September 2019. The students will have the opportunity to; familiarise themselves with the CDT programme; meet the CDT team, department staff and academics; settle into their new surroundings and work space. 

More about Cohort 1

We have a cohort of exceptionally strong students joining the CDT this year. They come from a diverse range of backgrounds including maths, physics, languages, linguistics, psychology, computer sciences and engineering disciplines. This wide range is essential to excel within the unique training environment and ambitious research opportunities the CDT offers.

We really look forward to getting to know them and support them through their journey to achieving their PhD with Integrated PGDip.

Applications Closed for 2019

By | Admissions | No Comments

Applications have now closed for our September 2019 intake

We received a huge amount of interest from students from a variety of academic backgrounds. The team would like to give thanks for everyone who has taken their time to get in touch or apply.

Offers have been made for our first ever cohort. We are now busily preparing for the students arrival on the 30th of September. 

Recruitment for 2020

Our next application round will be for September 2020 entry. Applications will open in October 2019, with a first deadline in December 2019 and first decisions in early 2020. Approximately 13 studentships will be available.

If you have any queries please get in touch with the team: sltcdt-enquiries@sheffield.ac.uk

New Logo and Branding

By | Good News | No Comments

Exciting news: We have our new logo!

The team have been working behind the scenes to prepare for our first cohort of students.

We now have our own shiny new logo to sit along side the University’s logo and UKRI.

Watch this space for new branding and centre brochures.

Funding announced

By | Good News | No Comments

The University of Sheffield has received funding to train the next generation of artificial intelligence scientists and engineers

In February 2019 the UK received a major boost to advance its position in the global AI race, thanks to a £100m investment to train the next generation of artificial intelligence leaders. The University is to open one of 16 new Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) in Artificial Intelligence (AI) supported by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). An investment of £8 million pounds has been made for the CDT, which will be funded by the UKRI, the University and industry partners such as Google and Amazon.

Sheffield’s Centre will focus on speech and language technologies, addressing the current shortfall in demand for scientists and engineers with advanced training in this area

Professor Thomas Hain, Principal Investigator and Director of the CDT in Speech and Language Technologies and their Applications, said: “We are proud that the University of Sheffield has been chosen to host a centre for doctoral training that will combine our experience in training generations of inspired doctoral students with our track record of world-leading research. No SLT research training worldwide has the same breadth and depth, and exposure to real world problems that this centre will offer.”

A long-term goal of AI has been to create machines that can understand spoken and written human language, a capability that would enable spoken language interaction between humans and computers, and translation between all human languages.

The University of Sheffield has worked at the forefront of SLT for three decades and generated knowledge and defined best practise in automatic speech recognition, machine translation, text mining and social media analytics, speech perception and hearing research, and many other subject areas. The research groups have a very broad multidisciplinary expertise that is unique amongst UK researchers in this field.

The four-year training programme is designed to develop students’ professional skills and technical research experience, teaching them to foster interdisciplinary approaches, forge links with industry, and apply their learning to the real-world, developing their entrepreneurial skills. The CDT will pay particular attention to training students to be aware of ethical issues and concerns that arise in AI research in general and SLT research in particular.

A major part of the CDT involves close collaboration with industry, including multinationals such as Google, Amazon, Voicebase, Nuance, NHS Digital, Solvay and TechNation, as well as substantial UK SME support. They bring both insight and relevance to the students’ training and reduce the gap between academic theory and industrial practice. The industry partners will contribute through research projects, internships, teaching, advisory roles and outreach activities.

The Centre officially opened on the 1st April 2019 and will be welcoming its first cohort in September 2019.