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.
Dr. Aishwaryaprajna presented a paper on sustainable foraging in agent-based societies. The paper presented results on how endowing agents with a reflective governor, such that they are able to observe when their own behaviour is contributing to unsustainability, can overcome ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ style unsustainable outcomes.
Further, as part of his role as a board member of the International Society for Artificial Life with responsibility for Societal Impact, Dr. Lewis chaired the 7th Special Session on Alife and Society.
Thanks to a grant from the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) Exploration Stream, Trustworthy AI Lab researchers will be collaborating with Dr. Theresa Stotesbury, forensic scientist in the Faculty of Science to improve reliability of bloodstain analyses at crime scenes. This important new project will apply unsupervised machine learning techniques to establish a new data-driven taxonomy for the causes of bloodstains. Of particular relevance to Canada is to explore and model how bloodstains are conserved as the environment varies, for example in extreme temperatures and on snowy and icy surfaces.
Read more at the Ontario Tech news site.
As part of our ongoing collaboration with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, researchers from Ontario Tech’s Trustworthy AI lab and Human-Machine lab attended an annual research retreat at CNIB’s Lake Joe camp.
There are significant opportunities in the use of AI for assistive technology, and important questions to ask around accessibility in AI technology. Our strategic partnership means that we have the ability to tackle these challenges together, as well as provide experiential learning opportunities to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
We are delighted to welcome three new graduate students to the Trustworthy AI Lab in the Fall 2022 cohort. Nathan Lloyd (PhD student) will be exploring reflective, normative agents that can modify their individual beliefs in the context of their environment and societal norms. Zahra Ahmadi (MSc) has interests in AI and trust in assistive technology, and Arsh Chowdhry is exploring the trustworthiness (or otherwise) of AI systems in the healthcare sector.
Since the Trustworthy AI Lab was founded in June 2021, we are delighted to have welcomed five new researchers to the team. From left to right: Aishwaryaprajna (postdoctoral fellow), Joanna Bakler (Masters student), Tala Defo (Masters student), Shahrbanoo Zomorodzadeh (Masters student), Steve Marsh (Lab Co-Director), Peter Lewis (Lab Director), Narayan Kabra (Mitacs Globallink Intern).
Welcome all! And check out the People section for more info on their projects.