Google-linked DeepMind launches scholarships in South Africa

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Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has donated scholarships to four Wits University students to complete master’s degrees in the field of machine learning.

The scholarships – to be provided by Alphabet’s AI research firm DeepMind – will fund students enrolled for master’s degrees in computer science, artificial intelligence or robotics between 2022 and 2024.

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DeepMind scholarships include tuition and stipends as well as conference and equipment funding.

The company will fund two Master’s students who aim to complete their studies by thesis over two years, as well as two students enrolled in the Master’s program by coursework and thesis over two years.

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Scholars get their master’s fees fully paid, as well as mentoring and support from a personal DeepMind mentor.

These will only be awarded to students who would not be able to pursue their studies without financial assistance, with preference given to South Africans from underrepresented groups, including black students and women.

It will also be open to international students, with a preference for residents of sub-Saharan Africa.

Obom Ike, DeepMind’s global leader in university relations and educational partnerships, said the company is proud to help support the next generation of AI researchers and engineers in Africa.

“The spirit of the donation and the DeepMind Scholarships is to increase diversity in the areas of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and to increase the representation of groups that are currently underrepresented in these areas,” said Ekeke.

The scholarships will become “a much-needed platform and launchpad for the careers of some of the country’s most talented students,” said Associate Professor of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at Wits, Benjamin Rosman.

“With this support from DeepMind, Wits will bring a broader range of African talent to global conversations in cutting edge AI research,” said Rosman.

Wits joins two other African universities – Stellenbosch University and Makerere University – as well as world-leading universities in machine learning and artificial intelligence that participate in the DeepMind scholarship programme.

The latter include the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, New York University, and University College London.

For more information on how to apply for the DeepMind Scholarships, prospective Masters students in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can visit The site of intelligence.

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