Improved performance of AI systems – driven by research breakthroughs, increased data availability, improved computing power and new architectures – are leading to applications that outperform human beings in certain domains. Computer vision, natural language processing, and data-driven prediction are notable areas of rapidly increasing AI capability. The increase in both the range and accuracy of the tasks AI systems can perform has led to both excitement and concern.
Effects on labour markets and employment are popular areas of public concern and debate, but the potential societal effects of AI extend more broadly. Questions have been raised about fundamental and complex topics such as algorithmic bias, transparency, governance, and inclusion. AI has the potential to drive changes in policy and practice across many domains, from natural resources to healthcare to the arts. It also raises new questions for ethical and legal practices of all orders of government, business, and civil society.
To help advance discussions around these and other issues, CIFAR will build inclusive, international collaborations and engagements that bring together research perspectives from any discipline, including those in the social sciences, humanities, law, engineering, and the arts with policymakers and innovators. By thinking about these effects early on, engaging diverse perspectives, and communicating new knowledge and insights responsibly and broadly, we will be better able to respond to the new challenges AI presents and take full advantage of the opportunities for human advancement and understanding.
Call for proposals
CIFAR, in partnership with UK Research and Innovation and France’s Centre national de la recherche scientifique, has launched a Call for Workshops targeted at priority areas related to AI & Society. This program will provide funding and support to bring together new teams including members from Canada, France, and the UK, to explore emerging questions about how AI affects the world today and tomorrow. Each workshop will lead to a publication that helps to inform policymakers, NGOs, innovators, and others.
Applications for this Call for Workshops are now closed, and results from this competition will be available in 2019. Results from CIFAR’s previous Call for Workshops can be found here.
AI Futures Policy Labs
In partnership with the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E), CIFAR has launched the AI Futures Policy Labs series, a Canada-wide series of workshops aimed at engaging future policy leaders in deep conversations about the future of AI. Bringing together small groups of early-career professionals from the public, private, non-profit, and academic sectors, these workshops will engage participants in capacity-building and thought-provoking foresight activities in a collaborative, intimate space.
The purpose of these workshops is to promote informed and thoughtful discussions across Canada about the future of AI technology, its impact on society, and potential public policy actions that can be taken to mitigate risks and maximize benefits.
Read more about the AI Futures Policy Labs