Highlights of the Summer School on Responsible AI OBVIA-SCAI 2021

The International Observatory on the social impacts of IA and Digital Technology (OBVIA) and the Sorbonne Center for Artifical Intelligence (SCAI) held in early September and early October 2021 the first ever virtual summer school French-Canadian on responsible AI. This 1st edition allowed for rich exchanges and creative proposals around the theme of sustainable health and climate change. Here is a look back at the highlights.

During summer, les étudiantes et students had access to video clips prepared by expert speakers on the topics discussed. Then, for a week, various roundtable sessions with expert researchers opened the discussion with the participating students on responsible innovation, issues of inclusion and bias mitigation, data protection and valorisation, technological dependency, predictive and augmented medicine, impacts of technologies for and on the environment and climate. We would like to thank the speakers and moderators of these roundtables for their time and generosity in preparing and running this first school.

These exchanges provided intellectual nourishment for students in preparation for a workshop based on foresight methods and controversy mapping on AI in society, facilitated and supervised by Christophe Abrassart and Eve Gaumond. This activity held over 2 days aimed to fuel a reflection on the issues of society posed by Artificial Intelligence Systems (AIS) and to make a storytelling of the ideas developed by the participants. Based on prospective scenarios in 2030 in Montreal or Paris, dealing with environmental or public health issues and involving the use of an AIS or a digital tool, the student teams had to identify different points of view, map them and develop them in the form of short interviews with fictional characters. The papers were to make explicit the different logics of action and arrive at an overall argued recommendation of a fictional “public hearing office” to address the environmental and health crisis. The proposed solution had to be based on a rational, plausible and innovative compromise while specifying the logic of use of the AIS and its place among other measures as well as being part of a logic of responsible innovation.

The projects of the 3 teams were presented during a virtual session held on October 1st. At the end of the presentations, one project was selected based on the quality of the plurality of views proposed, the quality of the storytelling and the originality and relevance of the interdisciplinary arrangement between the AIS and other collective action measures.

The «VerT une ville fraîche» project stood out for its originality, for the arrangement between the AIS and the other measures as well as for the quality of its presentation by its supporting members:

The winning team will be invited to debate their proposal in Quebec and Paris in various venues: citizen cafés, student groups and public libraries.

We congratulate the team of the project «VerT une ville fraîche», as well as the participants of this first edition, for their dynamic involvement and the richness of their thoughts and proposals.

See the projects presented

  • VerT une ville fraîche (projet vainqueur)
    Jasmine Banchereau, Sacha Keisermann, Fatemeh Hamissi et Marie Déchelle
  • Montréal 2030: un SIA pour diminuer les émissions de G.E.S. des transports
    Sabrina Sassi Aymée Nakasato Bryan-Elliott Tam Françoise Tran
  • Stratégie Paris 2030: lutte contre la déterioration de la qualité de l’air
    Théophile Bayet, Maité Le Floch, Romina Barony, Jiayu Wang

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The International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI and Digital Technology is made possible by the support of the Fonds de recherche du Québec.