Empowering Early-Career Researchers: AI for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy Winter School Recap

The Manchester Institute of Innovation Research held a week-long Early-Career Winter School on AI for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy with over thirty participants from ten countries.

The Manchester Institute of Innovation Research hosted the AI for Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Early Career Researcher Winter School , bringing together over thirty participants from twenty institutions and ten countries.

The week-long program covered a broad spectrum of topics, starting with an introduction to AI, definitions, its history and an overview of its benefits and concerns. Generative AI and large language models (LLMs) - understanding their workings and creation processes. Methods for utilizing LLMs and other AI tools in research processes, coding, and data analysis.

The ethics, responsibility, and emerging policies/guidelines surrounding AI. The application of AI in both qualitative and quantitative research. Assessing the efficacy and validity of LLMs. The implications of AI for scientific processes, practices, and organization.

This was followed by lab sessions providing hands-on experience with tools like ChatGPT and OpenSource, LLMs and API coding interfaces and group projects that applied learnings to a policy analysis exercise.

The curriculum also included talks and fireside panels on AI’s prospects for science and society, and humanizing AI, featuring distinguished speakers such as: Laurie Smith (Nesta), Alistair Nolan (OECD - OCD), Parsa Ghaffari (Quantexa News Intelligence), Elle Farrell-Kingsley (AI Tech Journalist) and Samuel Kaski (Aalto University/University of Manchester/Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence).

The conclusion of this winter school was dedicated to reflecting on our group projects and engaging in group discussions to enhance our collective learning.

The course was facilitated by Philip Shapira, Barbara Ribeiro, Arash Hajikhani, Justin Biddle, Cornelia Lawson, Carolyn Cole and supported by Eu-SPRI Forum, Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, Georgia Institute of Technology, SKEMA Business School, Partnership for the organization of innovation and new technologies (4POINT0).