From intellectual property and racial bias to misinformation, AI is changing the world at an accelerating pace. A massive seven-year interdisciplinary research initiative led by York University — backed by substantial federal research funding — is setting out to tame the unruly world of AI and other disruptive technologies, so humans can benefit equitably from advances in a machine-driven world.
More than 50 community groups are stepping up to engage in the research, a signal that the initiative is tapping into a recognized need. Potential projects include explorations into a more inclusive metaverse, virtual reality and community organizing, technologies for healthy aging and how the human brain functions when people interact with AI versus each other.
Along with significant innovations in medicine, education and entertainment, rapidly emerging technological advancements are also delivering unintended consequences, and some communities are being left behind. Making sure everyone benefits from the technological boom reflects York’s signature mission to create positive change in the world, both locally and globally.
Meet some of our leading researchers
One of the significant controversies about AI is the impact of generative software on the use and production of cultural works. The fast-growing popularity of these tools raises big questions about the ethics of AI-generated works and whether they amount to a technologically advanced form of plagiarism.
Big data and new machine-learning systems are transforming health care by cutting wait times and streamlining the gathering of information – so that cases requiring life-saving interventions can be identified and prioritized. Artificial intelligence (AI) is also accelerating the development of new therapies and therapeutics for drug research, while also enhancing diagnostics and the practice of preventive medicine.
Users often encounter fraudulent content online, including misinformation and marketing scams. This is not only frustrating for users, but also something that can have major consequences on both a global and personal level, ranging from financial and political damages to cultural and personal disagreements and divides.
York U's one-of-a-kind Connected Minds $318-million program
York U professors and inaugural directors of Connected Minds Doug Crawford, Sean Hillier and Pina D'Agostino discuss how their $318-million program will blend research in AI and neuroscience with the values of social justice to maximize benefits and mitigate risks for humanity – especially for those who the technological revolution might otherwise leave behind.