Dr. Peter Lewis wins new federal funding to develop 'socially reflective AI'

With new federal funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Dr. Peter Lewis and researchers at the Trustworthy AI Lab are embarking on a new 5-year program of research to develop a new generation of socially reflective intelligent machines.

As Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and other forms of machine intelligence are increasingly integrated into society, this new research program aims to discover how to build more socially sensitive AI technology. We will do this by augmenting AI systems such as robots, virtual assistants, smart devices, and other agents with the ability to reflect. Here, this reflection includes learning and reasoning using self-models that include social factors, including context, trustworthiness, norms, network structure, and likely outcomes of actions. The latter, and the focus of this research program, requires internal simulations of the social systems of which the AI system is part. The impact of this will be intelligent socio-technical systems able to act collectively to intentionally create more sustainable, equitable, and efficient outcomes in shared environments. We plan to demonstrate this impact using simulation models of global sustainability challenges that include AI-­based decision making, plus a case study on AI-supported community building for food security in Toronto.

This is part of a large investment of Canadian federal funding across research projects at Ontario Tech Univeristy. Read more at the Ontario Tech news site.