GCHQ seeks researchers to tackle deep fakes and misinformation

A GCHQ research fellowship based at its Manchester office will explore various national security priorities such as deep fakes, fake news and the impact of AI

GCHQ researchers will delve into national cyber security priorities around areas such as deep fakes, fake news and misinformation, and artificial intelligence (AI) through a research fellowship set up in partnership with Manchester-based facilitator The Landing.

The new Research Fellowship Programme for National Resilience – which has the theme of Digital Excellence: Leveraging Expertise – will offer a applicants from the worlds of academia, science and the security industry the chance to work alongside GCHQ on some of the toughest technology challenges facing the UK today.

The organisation – which is the parent of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – said it hoped participants would play a vital role in developing “cutting-edge” techniques to support the UK’s national security priorities.

“GCHQ operates at the cutting edge of technology, whether that’s artificial intelligence, quantum computing or machine learning. New technologies present fresh challenges, and this fellowship provides us with a great opportunity to work with the many experts in these fields,” said a GCHQ spokesperson.

“Only by working together can we devise the ingenious solutions needed to capitalise on the opportunities these technologies present, secure the UK’s future prosperity, and keep the country safe from those who wish to do us harm.”

The programme will be run from the intelligence agency’s newest base at Heron House, Albert Square in the heart of Manchester, which it opened towards the end of 2019.

Heron House is the latest addition to a number of sites GCHQ now operates around the UK – besides its famous doughnut-shaped Cheltenham headquarters, it also works out of offices in Bude, Cornwall, and Scarborough in North Yorkshire, as well as the NCSC’s home in central London.

GCHQ said that those selected for the research fellowship – who can apply here at any point up to 30 August 2020 – would be selected based on their research track record, their novelty of approach and vision, and the potential impact of their research proposal.

Successful applicants will be assigned to a dedicated internal GCHQ advisor, who will work with them on their project for an initial six-month period.

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