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UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Foundational AI



Archive for December, 2023

End of term social

By sharon.betts, on 14 December 2023

It is hard to believe that we are already reaching the end of another term at UCL. Since October we have welcomed 13 new students had PhD submissions, congratulated new Drs and seen a significant number of students have their work accepted for some of the most prestigious conferences in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning!

Before the CDT breaks up for the year, we felt it was only fitting to have our last student catch up session be one that taxed their minds and put their cohort collaboration skills to the test via an Escape Room journey!

We had 18 students divided into 4 teams to try and solve puzzles galore to escape in good time to eat mince pies and share their recent work and future plans.

We wish all students, staff and families happy holidays and the best for a successful 2024.

Demis Hassabis talk at UCL

By sharon.betts, on 8 December 2023

On Wednesday 29th November, UCL Events hosted Demis Hassabis to give the UCL Prize Lecture 2023 on his work at Google DeepMind, a company that he founded after completing his PhD at UCL.

Demis’ talk covered his journey through academia and interest in machine learning and artificial intelligence, which all started with a childhood love of games. Having started playing chess as young as 3, it is little wonder that this incredibly insightful and intelligent individual went on to work with algorithms and formats that were fun, functional and ground breaking. Demis’ interest in neuroscience and computational analysis was the perfect groundwork from which to create machine learning tools that now lead the world in their outcomes and developments. From AlphaGo to protein folding and beyond, Demis is a pioneer and revolutionary wrapped up in an extremely humble and engaging human being.

Our CDT is privileged to have a number of students funded by Google DeepMind, and these scholars were invited to attend a VIP meet and greet with Demis and his colleagues before the lecture began.

Our students were able to share their accomplishments and research with a number of academics, Google DeepMind executives and other invitees and were delighted to have been included in such a prestigious event.


There were over 900 people in personal attendance for the talk, with over 400 additional attendees online. With special thanks to the UCL OVPA team and UCL Events for making this happen and sharing the opportunity with our scholars.