IRCAI official launch as a virtual conference, 2021
Welcome to the IRCAI official launch as a virtual conference. Due to the COVID-19 pandemics, the plans for publicly launching the Centre were postponed to March 2021. The International Research Centre on Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI) is a new Category 2 Center under the auspices of UNESCO that offers insight and impact via an open and transparent dialogue on research in Artificial Intelligence (AI) specifically addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
History, Status, Ecosystem, Vision, Network and work with UNESCO (presentation)
IRCAI is the result of a long tradition of Slovenian research in AI and a number of large-scale partnerships across several decades over a number of European networks of excellence and almost a decade of activities with UNESCO. It exists within an ecosystem of AI players, across different research departments at the Jozef Stefan Institute, non-profits such as the Knowledge 4 All Foundation and a number of start-ups between London and Ljubljana. Its mission is to cover the vertical from research, to implementation and policy input showcasing unbiased, rigorous, and comprehensive dialogue for policymakers, researchers, journalists, executives, and the general public to develop a deeper understanding of the complex field of AI.
Launch of Report on Artificial Intelligence in Sub-Saharan Africa capacity building agenda
This is a new IDRC supported report which involved IRCAI personnel in the framework of the AI4D programme designed via a survey of universities; HEIs, and communities of practice. In order to guide future investments in capacity building that will build responsible AI development and deployment, it is important to know answers to questions such as: what does the AI landscape in SSA look like? What measures are stakeholders in the region taking to ensure that they are AI-ready? Where does capacity already exist or not?
Building a Global AI Community for Sustainable Development (panel session)
There are a number of AI communities across Africa form Deep Learning Indaba with their IndabaX chapters across 35 countries, to Data Science Africa and Data Science Nigeria which are both pushing forward capacity building aiming to train millions of AI practitioners across Africa, and Masakhane which is a research community specialized in African languages. This is a thriving landscape that supports research addressing local challenges in Africa.
Announcing the IRCAI Global Top 100 list for AI Projects on SDGs and how to engage with IRCAI (presentation)
IRCAI wants to give a voice to researchers across the world to present their best work, that’s why we want to start a scoping study with the TOP 100 projects to unearth the amazing work being done by AI colleagues everywhere. We have built mechanisms for researchers, policymakers, industry and venture capital to join our new Global Network of AI Excellence Centres. For this purpose, we have also set up a governance structure with Terms of Reference, Governing Board, Steering Committee and Programme Committees.
IRCAI Activities in AI and Sustainable Development (presentations)
IRCAI has set up International Scientific Program Committees consisting of groups of experts around Grand Challenges solvable by AI to validate and create projects with partners from all the world’s regions.
Findings of AI Need Assessment in Africa (presentation)
UNESCO has published with the support of IDRC and Knowledge 4 All Foundation the results of a survey intended to establish the priorities and capacity building needs of African countries concerning AI. The countries responding the survey requested support for standard-setting, policy advise, capacity building, network development and for addressing gender equality related concerns in the development and use of AI.
UNESCO Member States and IRCAI – From Needs Assessment to Action (panel session)
The panel will discuss how policy needs to come into action and what are the tangible results of such a scenario. We understand via the UNESCO assessment report that there is a need to levelized the potential benefits and risks of the AI technologies and research which is not equally distributed across regions of the world. As a category 2 center under the auspices of UNESCO, IRCAI wishes to benefit from the survey findings and partner with UNESCO to expand similar effort in other geographical constituencies of UNESCO, namely across Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) and use the experience of the panel in thinking about how to push commitment into action.
IRCAI Ethics – from Commitments to Action (presentations)
IRCAI Datasets – from Citizen Science to African languages (presentations)
IRCAI Funding and Innovation Programme (presentations)
Launch of AI in Africa: State of Play
The paper is one of the reports in the AI4D Africa programme. Its focus has been to review the state of play of AI technologies in Africa in the areas of innovation, capacity building, policy, and infrastructure. After describing the state of play, it invites all African stakeholders and calls them to action to focus on the key activities required for Africa to position itself to better harness responsible AI technologies to tackle some of its critical challenges, and even become a leadingvoice on steering the African AI agenda.
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