BBC Challenge

The BBC faces its own multifaceted and interconnected challenges in ensuring we develop and deploy AI responsibly and in line with our organisational values, public service responsibilities, and our important role in the skills pipeline for creative professionals.

In this Fellowship round, we ask applicants to respond to 1 of 4 key challenge areas (CA):

How can we improve Responsible AI (RAI) literacy across the organisation and facilitate cross-team and interdisciplinary communication, coordination, and decision-making?

We are looking for fellows than can help us research and develop educational tools or other types of artefacts that can facilitate multistakeholder dialogue and decision making around key RAI issues for the BBC. (challenge-code BBC-C1)

How can emerging best practice around AI risk assessment and auditing work translate into the BBC context?

We are looking for fellows to help us research, evaluate and/or develop tools and practices that can advance our approach to risk assessment and auditing. (challenge-code BBC-C2)

How can we advance new approaches to evaluating the editorial or social impacts of AI systems in line with BBC goals and values?

We are looking for fellows who can help develop the BBC’s understanding of applied methods and approaches for evaluating AI systems in the context of public service goals and values. (challenge-code BBC-C3)

How can we co-create the necessary conditions, interactions, and practices to support creative practitioners in making use of AI in the production of new media experiences?

We are looking for fellows who can do practical investigation into creatives’ relationships to AI in their work with a focus on constructive use in support of creative practice. We are particularly interested in fellows who are interested in designing for “good” interactions between creatives and data-driven systems as well as recent developments in generative AI regarding its impacts on creative practice and practitioners. (challenge-code BBC-C4)

Additional Context

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the UK’s largest public service broadcaster. BBC R&D is enshrined in the BBC’s Royal Charter and exists to provide “a centre of excellence” for research and development in broadcasting media and communications. We are a multidisciplinary research department of producers, social scientists, designers, and engineers that collaborate with academics and industry to share knowledge, exchange best practice, and develop a range of enablers for the next generation of media experiences.

The BBC has its Machine Learning Engine Principles (MLEP) and guidance, which provide a framework for RAI at the BBC. In R&D, we are looking for new ways to extend, enhance and improve RAI. BRAID-BBC fellowships are an opportunity to apply/develop/advance knowledge of key issues and challenges in relation to a real-world organisational context. As such, we would ask fellows to consider how their research would seek to engage with the BBC’s existing RAI frameworks, processes, and practices as set out here.

We invite research proposals that

  • align with the development/application of AI at the BBC.
  • focus on how social sciences and the arts and humanities can inform RAI practice/key areas of AI innovation at the BBC.
  • are built around a single project or a portfolio or smaller projects.
  • call for regular contact and engagement with the BBC.
  • promote ongoing knowledge exchange and include practical outputs that are usable by industry alongside any research papers.
  • benefit from a flexible and collaborative approach .

Working Arrangements

As a BRAID-BBC fellow you will be hosted by the BBC R&D Responsible Innovation team, who work with the wider BBC to undertake research and activities to support RAI, and you will be expected to work closely with other parts of R&D and the wider organisation.

How it will work

  • If the application is successful, the BBC will work with the fellow to refine the project plan and agree on shared goals and outcomes.
  • The BBC will support the fellow in terms of onboarding, providing a BBC research contact and collaborator, engaging in regular meetings, and providing office space for the fellow to work from as required.
  • BBC R&D is set up for hybrid working; the fellow will be allocated a base in London or Salford/Manchester but will potentially have access to other offices.
  • We expect fellows to spend a minimum of 1 day a week with the BBC team during the fellowship – we will be flexible to accommodate personal circumstances.
  • We expect the fellow to factor into their budget proposal travel, accommodation and subsistence costs and any specific research costs they envision.
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