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Our Journey Into AI- an online discussion

Piotr Teodorowski is a PhD student, currently based at the University of Liverpool and the ARC North West Coast (NWC), is doing a short placement funded by the NIHR Short Placement Award for Research Collaboration (SPARC) with ARC Northwest London exploring public involvement and engagement.

The NIHR SPARC scheme offers NIHR Academy members an opportunity to spend time in other parts of the NIHR; to network, train in a specific skill or collaborate with other researchers/specialists. The scheme is designed to optimise and enhance the individuals’, experience CVs and careers.

Evaluating co-production

During his placement, Piotr worked with our Patient, public and Community Engagement and Involvement Theme and was supported by Dr Dorota Chapko and Kabelo Murray. His project included the facilitation of a participatory evaluation of the co-production process that aimed to develop materials with public contributors around data science and artificial intelligence for lay members of the public. The evaluation used the creative methods of photovoice and building a mandala illustration to communicate the key themes.The findings were presented in a live Tweetchat using the hashtag #JourneyIntoAI.

A Tweetchat is an innovative way to engage people in an online discussion, in this case around the use of AI and data science. Piotr was joined by Naheed Tahir (public contributor with ARC NWC), Rachel Plachcinski (#PPI Lead), Kelly Gleason (CRUK Senior Research Nurse (Imperial College) and Reshma Punjabi (public contributor).

The live chat initially introduced followers to the project, and the aims including:

• co-create training for the public to help anyone learn about data science and AI
• empower people to be able to help researchers develop Apps and devices that will truly help them manage their health
• help people make informed decisions about sharing their health data for research and improvement of health services

A creative process

The process of the participatory evaluation was explained, where participants used photos to record their experiences of the project. These were then composed into a mandala illustration by Federica Ciotti who specialises in creative visualisation. The illustrations act as a visually engaging way to highlight the key project themes and their interconnected nature.

A valuable placement

Piotr said: “SPARC allowed me to move between ARC North West Coast and ARC Northwest London to enhance my research skills. As a part of my placement, I was embedded within the PPIE team at ARC NWL and these last couple of months improved my understanding of how to involve public partners successfully. I feel confident to use these newly acquired skills in my current PhD project and my post-doc career.”

You can view the whole Twitter moment here:


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