Alternative AI Futures?

Alternative AI Futures?
© Lena Ziyal

Sat, 13.11.2021 5:00 PM


Language: English
This event will take place on Zoom

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In view of the dominant role played by large corporate groups in the development and distribution of AI processes and reports about increasingly efficient facial recognition systems used by political power holders for surveillance purposes, you might jump to the conclusion that artificial intelligence is not much more than an instrument of control for political and economic purposes. But what can AI be apart from that? This panel looks at some alternative application examples using AI in community and creative projects. What opportunities might be offered by AI collaborations that aren’t focused on profit and power interests? What new ideas – involving AI as well as the people who interact with it – might emerge as a result, and what new worlds could become conceivable?

The panel is in English.

Speakers: Priya Donti, co-founder of Climate Change AI and postgraduate student at the Carnegie Mellon University; Jason Edward Lewis, media theorist, Concordia University; Kathleen Siminyu, computer scientist and engineer.
Moderation: Abhishek Gupta, software developer and founder of the Montreal AI Ethics Institutes

Priya Donti is a postgraduate student specialising in Computer Science and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. She is also co-founder and chair of Climate Change AI, an initiative to catalyse impactful work at the intersection of climate change and machine learning. Accordingly, her work focuses on the opportunities for using AI for forecasting, optimisation and control in high-renewables power grids. The MIT Technology Review included her on the list of "35 Innovators Under 35" in 2021.

Jason Edward Lewis is a software designer, digital media theorist and poet. He is founder of the Obx Laboratory for experimental media and Professor of Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University in Montreal. He is also head of the Initiative for Indigenous Futures and co-director of the Indigenous Futures Research Centre at Concordia University, where his focus is promoting the visibility of indigenous life realities in research, technology and cyberspace. His research interests include media history and theory, as well as methods of art-led technology research.

Kathleen Siminyu is a computer scientist, machine learning engineer and co-founder of the initiative Nairobi Women in Machine Learning & Data Science. She is a fellow of the Mozilla Foundation, where she is working on the development of a speech transcription model for Kiswahili. Before that she was regional coordinator of Artificial Intelligence For Development Africa (AI4D Africa), where she was involved in a variety of projects promoting AI in Africa. She wants to support under-represented groups in her work – women in particular – and help them access computer science as a field of work. To achieve this, she organises projects, gives lectures and is active in several organisations – including Africa`s Talking and Deep Learning Indaba. The primary focus of her work is optimising natural language processing and machine translation of different African languages.

Abhishek Gupta is the founder of the Montreal AI Ethics Institutes where he is also a researcher, and a software developer at Microsoft, where he serves on the CSE AI Ethics Review Board. As an AI Ethics researcher he works on the development of inclusive AI. His research focuses on applied technical and policy methods to address ethical, safety and inclusivity concerns in using AI in different domains. As well as his activity on the AI Advisory Board of Dawson College, at the Linux Foundation and at the Banff Forum, he is also a faculty member of the Frankfurt Big Data Lab at the Goethe-Universität.