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Irish-EU Collaboration for Ethics-Focused AI Master’s Degree

Ireland will play a significant part in plans to establish a new master’s degree course across Europe that will be ethics-focused on issues around AI.

CeADAR, Ireland’s national centre for applied data analytics and AI based at University College Dublin (UCD) will collaborate with three other ‘centres of excellence’ across the four corners of Europe to deliver the course, which will start in September 2022.

Irish students will be able to take the course at TU Dublin, and it will also be available in colleges in The Netherlands, Italy and Hungary.

Dublin-based company Nathean Technologies is coming on board as the Irish industry partner for the project, which is expected to cost the EU around €3m.

Some areas being explored by researchers at the European centres of excellence include how to build AI systems that respect the privacy of individuals, the implications of AI on humans and how to retain humans’ control of AI.

Dr Oisín Boydell, principal data scientist at CeADAR, said the course and surrounding research would be important for our understanding of AI from an ethical point of view.

Dr Boydell commented, “AI is being used more and more in everyday life; it is becoming ubiquitous in our homes. As the integration is so rapid, we need to be examining the implications of all this technology on the end users – humans. We are good at looking at the technical side of AI, but we also need to understand, from a human-focus, why we are using this AI and put humans in control of it.”

The course will enable students to learn about AI alongside experienced researchers like Boydell and industry partners like Nathean Technologies. The collaboration between industry and research will also see those involved conducting surveys and running focus groups in an effort to establish what Europeans require in terms of AI expertise.

Dr Boydell added, “Europe is putting ethical requirements at the heart of AI development to protect the rights of the individual. The target for this programme is to develop graduates who can apply cutting-edge AI technology with human centred principles built in from the beginning. Graduates of this programme will provide an advantage to early adopters of ethical AI approaches.”

To make the material developed for the course as widely available as possible, materials will be published on an online digital skills and jobs platform during the project.

Source: Silicon Republic

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