Bedfordshire alumni awarded Gates Scholarship to study at Cambridge

Mon 03 June, 2024
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An alumni from the University of Bedfordshire has been chosen as a recipient of the prestigious Gates Scholarship to study for a PhD at the University of Cambridge.

Hannah Claus studied BSc Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at Bedfordshire, graduating in 2022, and will undertake a PhD focusing on Computation, Cognition and Language.

Alongside her studies, Hannah is also an active member of various organisations that raise awareness of algorithmic bias and AI literacy while empowering people from marginalised communities to follow their goals in AI.

Speaking about this Scholarship, Hannah said: “I am beyond honoured to have been selected for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue my PhD in Artificial Intelligence and equitable language models, making these technologies more accessible and less biased, including as many different voices and languages as possible. If we want AI to work for everyone, we need to make sure not to let just a handful of people make the decisions for everyone. We all deserve to be represented and that’s what I will fight for.”

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship programme was established through a US$210 million donation to the University of Cambridge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000. It funds international postgraduate students from across the globe, with scholars selected not just for their academic achievements but also for their ability to achieve wider social impact.

In 2022 – while in her third year of study at Bedfordshire – Hannah was selected to present her paper on improving facial recognition technology at a leading international AI conference. The research was born from Hannah’s personal experience of how the failings of facial recognition technology can make life harder for certain people based on their race or gender.

Dr Vitaly Schetinin, Senior Lecturer in Computing and Information Systems, supervised Hannah during her final year project. He said: “Hannah developed outstanding results during her study with us. In her second year, she led a group of students studying AI to publish a research paper and in her final year she continued to develop, with her results recognised as so high that she received a grant for a presentation at the main international conference in AI.”


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