ADAPT Radio: AI in Action, Professor Vincent Wade on the benefits of Human-Centric AI

26 July 2022

This series of ADAPT Radio concludes this month with a robust discussion with ADAPT Director and CEO, Professor Vincent Wade. Prof. Wade holds the Professorial Chair of Computer Science at Trinity College Dublin and played a pivotal role in the Beyond 2022 project that launched last June. He has also been awarded a Fellowship of Trinity College for his contribution to research and during his career so far he has published over three hundred and fifty scientific papers in peer reviewed international journals and conferences.

Prof. Wade begins this month’s podcast with an overview of Beyond 2022, Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury. Beyond 2022 captures seven centuries of Irish historical records previously thought to be lost when the original Record Treasury was lost to a fire in 1922 as a result of the Irish Civil War. It is an innovative project that goes beyond traditional experiences of virtual reality usually only accessible via specialised headsets. Prof. Wade highlighted the work involved in building a pipeline which would allow access to digitized documents and allow the public to navigate them in a reconstruction of the original building providing an innovative and fun experience. 

During the podcast, Prof. Wade discusses his own human-centric AI research, in particular, how AI can be shaped to empower humans, privacy-enabling AI and empowering personalisation.

Putting humans at the centre of AI technology is vital because it assists in decision making in regards to ethical, legal and data governance challenges. Another area that Prof. Wade discussed is the sensationalist idea that AI could make people’s jobs obsolete. As Prof. Wade explains, AI taking up certain roles within an organisation can free up humans to take on more advanced positions. As AI is applied it can create growth and jobs rather than shutting them down. The nature of these jobs evolving are new opportunities for those within the system and doing this in a human-centric way explores and allows for that to be taken into account.

Human-centric AI in ADAPT, as outlined by Prof. Wade during the discussion, focuses on personalisation, in particular, personalised education. One such example he gives is how it can be difficult in large lecture halls, often with over one hundred students, to give individual attention to students. However, AI systems can assist by providing unique advice, content and suggestions to aid in an individual student’s learning experience. As Prof. Wade said: “Satisfaction, effectiveness and efficiency, are the three areas that personalised learning can really affect.”

The ADAPT Centre aims to achieve a digitally balanced society by 2030 and, as Prof Wade explains, this includes having accountability, responsibility and risk management built into the designs of our AI systems. This ensures that companies are able to apply the technologies in a risk managed, responsible and accountable way so that AI can suit the particular situations it is applied to. Prof. Wade also provides further details on barriers to this currently and how they might be managed. Prof. Wade concludes the podcast with a brief discussion on where he sees the future of AI heading. The full podcast is available here.

The next series of ADAPT Radio: AI in Action will be released in September 2022.

ADAPT Radio: AI in Action is ADAPT’s newest podcast series highlighting pioneering ADAPT AI research that is empowering individuals, businesses and society to get the most from AI-Driven Digital Media Technology. ADAPT Radio is available on SoundCloud, iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.