October 7, 2021
OBVIA AND IVADO formalize their academic partnership to generate knowledge on the societal impacts of AI and digital technology
Montréal, October 7, 2021 – The International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI and Digital Technology (OBVIA) and the Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO) are very pleased to officially announce their strategic academic partnership to develop responsible digital societal solutions.
Through research activities focused on the societal impacts of AI and digital technology, the collaboration will help promote the transfer and enhancement of knowledge, joint research and research-creation and responsible innovation in digital intelligence in Québec.
“This partnership is perfectly aligned with our mission to guide the responsible development and use of AI and digital technology. Although these advancements can lead to a range of benefits for societies and organizations, it is important to consider the social consequences they entail, such as digital biases, exclusions and inequalities. Collaboration between the AI and digital technology stakeholders—many of which are already part of the IVADO community—is key to tackling these impacts together and finding the right solutions,” explained Lyse Langlois, general director of OBVIA.
The alliance will extend to the organization of joint events, as well as the development of intersectoral and multidisciplinary research partnerships that pool the expertise of OBVIA and IVADO’s research networks.
“Digital innovation raises critical issues with respect to social responsibility and ethics and must determine plausible solutions to achieve equity, diversity and inclusion. We are therefore very pleased to welcome OBVIA to our IVADO community and merge the observatory’s proven expertise in the societal impacts of AI and digital technology and complementary know-how of our research network,” stated Luc Vinet, CEO of IVADO.
The strategic partnership also supports the emergence of new digital intelligence experts, as reflected in the joint activities led by the two organizations since OBVIA’s founding:
- $60,000 in funding to offer postdoctoral training on the issues of power, inequality and discrimination in AI.
- Support to develop the Humaniteq techno-cultural podcast on AI and humanity in collaboration with the Fonds de recherche du Québec.
- Contribution to the Avant Garde initiative that brings together and supports 45 young leaders from a range of backgrounds in their professional development through activities including research-driven conferences and workshops.
- Ninth edition of the Institut d’éthique appliquée (IDÉA) summer school in organizational ethics in collaboration with OBVIA and IVADO.
Another important collaboration is the approach to raise awareness and spark dialogue to support and give impetus to the responsible use of AI in the bio-food sector in partnership with Forum IA Québec and the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ).
OBVIA and IVADO are also working on two new initiatives, including a guide to inclusive events developed with the Québec Interuniversity Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Network and Institut ÉDI2 and a master’s award competition to explore power, discrimination and inequality in AI specific to Indigenous persons, which will be launched in late October 2021.
The International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI and Digital Technologies (OBVIA) is an open research network that brings together the expertise of 260 researchers from 18 Quebec post-secondary institutions (universities and colleges) as well as numerous national and international partners. Supported financially by the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ), OBVIA helps communities, organizations and society maximize the positive impacts and minimize the negative effects of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital technologies.
IVADO was born from an initiative of the Université de Montréal, HEC Montréal and Polytechnique Montréal in 2016. With the support of its academic, industrial and institutional ecosystem, IVADO develops cutting-edge expertise in the various fields of digital intelligence (including data science, artificial intelligence and operations research) and helps transform new scientific discoveries into concrete applications, economic opportunities and benefits for society.
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