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In reaction to the meteoric rise of artificial intelligence, the research area Human(e) AI has been granted Interfaculty Research Priority Area status by the University of Amsterdam. Natali Helberger was one of the co-founders of the RPA status and is now a member of its board. On May 15, Human(e) AI will be officially launched at an event for the entire University.

The birth of artificial intelligence

The UvA has established a new research priority area (RPA): Human(e) AI. This initiative is the result of a concerted, inter-faculty collaboration initiated by the Rector, and is a key element of the UvA Artificial Intelligence strategy. Initiators Natali Helberger (ALS), Julia Noordegraaf (FGw), Sonja Smets (FGw/FNWI), Claes de Vreese (FMG) and the university professors in the field of AI form the Human(e) AI Steering Committee.

Goals of Human(e) AI

The idea behind the new Research Priority Area is to study the legal, ethical and societal consequences of AI andautomated decision-making (ADM). How can we bring about conditions that allow AI to flourish while taking cultural and socio-economic equality, fairness and respect for fundamental rights in decision-making, both in the public and commercial sectorsand the realisation of opportunities for digital citizenship into account? 

What and for whom?

To realise these ambitions during the forthcoming funding cycle (2018-2023), the RPA envisions a set of ambitious and innovative activities that rest on three main pillars:

1. The initiative will function, in close cooperation with AI Deep, as a hub for scientific knowledge production and discussion within the UvA and beyond. It will initiate an UvA-wide, cross-faculty dialogue, scout research talent within the UvA, forge new collaborative efforts and develop AI-related research lines within and between faculties. 

2. The RPA will engage in innovative research on the automation of core societal processes, analysing the consequences for individuals, culture and society in interdisciplinary research projects. 

3. The RPA will closely cooperate and share knowledge with societal actors and policymakers, initiate a public debate on the societal implications of AI, and develop collaborations with commercial AI partners - building on already established contacts via, among others, the Innovation Center for AI (ICAI).

Launch event

As researchers from all faculties at the UvA that already engage in research into, or have an interest in AI and digital technology are key elements of this initiative, we have chosen to launch the RPA at a university-wide event this 15 May 2019. The event will be an assembly of scholars interested in AI research; current research can be showcased and networking opportunities will be provided in dedicated sessions for the purpose of determining which interdisciplinary research projects might be eligible for seed funding from the RPA. A call for seed funding will be launched in the near future. 

The event is open to everyone with an interest in AI and digital technology! For more information and to register for the event.