Human+ Tech Talks: The Complete Schedule

01 September 2022

The prestigious HUMAN+ international and interdisciplinary fellowship programme, led by the SFI ADAPT Centre and Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute, is launching Human+ Tech Talks. Human+ Tech Talks is a series of online roundtable discussions that will bring together a distinguished panel of industry and academic experts to explore different dimensions of human-centred AI research.

This series is particularly designed for researchers, enterprise communities, potential future fellows and international AI professionals. However, AI enthusiasts and anyone with a keen interest in the topics are also welcome to attend these events. The series will launch with five discussions covering a wide range of topics starting September 13. Read on for more details.


Tech Talk 1: The Ethical Dimension of Human-Centric AI

When? 13 September, 13:00 Irish Standard Time.

What to expect? From insurance and jobs to dating and autonomous driving, artificial intelligence technology is being integrated across all areas of our lives. As this technology continues to receive widespread acceptance, it is important to consider the biases that may be encoded within them. Even though machines are perceived as fair, they are ultimately created by humans. What kind of human biases can these AI solutions then perpetrate? How can these biases affect the lives of communities from minority or marginalised backgrounds? What are the steps scientists need to take to avoid unfairness? What kind of collaborations, questions and considerations do we need to make while creating fair and unbiased AI solutions?

Speakers with highly accomplished academic and scientific backgrounds contemplate such questions with the aim of discussing in-depth both the promises and perils of AI from an ethical standpoint.

Who are the speakers?

Vincent Wade, Chair of Computer Science, Trinity College Dublin, and Director of the SFI ADAPT Centre; Linda Hogan, Professor of Ecumenics in the School of Religion, Trinity College Dublin; David Lewis, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Trinity College Dublin, and Deputy Director of the SFI ADAPT Centre.




Tech Talk 2: Your Avatar and You: Identity and Behaviour in the Digital World

When? 27 September, 13:00 Irish Standard Time.

What to expect? This discussion focuses on whether avatars and digital personas should be considered humans and reflects on the impacts of these on inclusivity, social dynamics, and digital practices. Combining angles of human psychology and behaviour, society, digital technology, and aesthetics, we aim to dissect the following questions:

  • How does humanity’s engagement with digital media change social engagement in the long run?
  • How can we increase realism in digital appearances and what does it do to identity and social interactions?
  • How will digital personas become implemented in society and/or change social networks and behaviours?

Who are the speakers?

Dr. Kata Szita, Human+ Programme Fellow; Dr. Jennifer O’Meara, Assistant Professor in Film Studies, Trinity College Dublin; Prof. Aljosa Smolic, Professor of Creative Technologies, Trinity College Dublin; Jess Majekodunmi, Director, Human Sciences Studio at Accenture.




Tech Talk 3: The Future of Robots in Our Everyday Lives: A Transdisciplinary Discussion

When? 11 October, 13:00 Irish Standard Time.

What to expect? Robots that populate our social everyday lives have become a ubiquitous figure of the sociotechnical imaginary of the Global North. They can take the shape of smaller artifacts to life-sized humanoid robots. Researchers have been examining the gendered, racialised and ableist dimensions of designing, building and implementing so-called social robots. This discussion aims to not only formulate a humanistic critique of engineering practices, but rather to deliver the points of departure to engineer social robots differently.

The panel will tackle these main questions, among others:

  • How can robotic engineers and humanities scholars work together?
  • What kind of future robots do we envision when collaborating?
  • How could robots become socially useful in new, not yet known ways?

Who are the speakers?

Dr Pat Treusch, Human+ Programme Fellow; Dr Conor McGinn, Assistant Professor, Mechanical, Manufacturing & Biomedical Engineering, Trinity College Dublin; Benjamin Cowan, Associate Professor School of Information & Communication Studies, University College Dublin, and Funded Investigator at the SFI ADAPT Centre; Fiona McDermott, Research Fellow, SFI CONNECT Centre.




Tech Talk 4: In Tech We Trust: Embedding Human Values and Ethical Standards Into AI

When? 1 November, 13:00 Irish Standard Time.

What to expect? Building trust around a disruptive technology such as AI is deemed crucial in order to realise its full potential while minimising the risks to people and communities. Trustworthiness has become a key concept in AI development and governance, as testified by recent EU, IEEE and ISO initiatives. However, Trustworthy AI conceptual boundaries and practical implications still raise questions prompting further investigation.

Combining different perspectives and backgrounds, speakers will discuss the rationale behind the concept, the state-of-the-art of its operationalisation, as well as the challenges to be faced and possible ways forward.

The seminar aims to move forward the conversation on the following issues:

  • How to build AI applications people can trust?
  • What does trustworthiness mean for different actors and disciplines?
  • How to operationalise ethical standards?
  • How to integrate technical solutions, organisational governance and regulatory frameworks?

Who are the speakers?

Dr Nicola Paladino, Human+ Programme Fellow; Professor Blanaid Clark, McCann FitzGerald Chair in Corporate Law, Trinity College Dublin; Dr David Lewis, Associate Professor, Computer Science, Trinity College Dublin, and Deputy Director of the SFI ADAPT Centre; Dr Kenneth McKenzie, Research Portfolio Lead, Human Sciences Studio, Accenture.




Tech Talk 5: Learning to Learn: How Can AI Unlock Learning Patterns?

When? 22 November, 13:00 Irish Standard Time.

What to expect? Online education has become a mainstream form of education in many countries during the pandemic. The market for AI-enhanced personalised tutoring systems is therefore growing in great demand and popularity. This allows recording rich information of learner’s interactions, thus opening up the possibilities of studying ‘learner’s behaviour at scale using machine learning techniques. In this seminar, we will share the challenges and opportunities when building personalised online education systems. We’ll also showcase tangible examples of how we can leverage deep neural networks and large volumes of behavioural data to tackle these challenges.

Our discussion will cover the following topics:

  • What value has personalisation brought for education?
  • What does that look like as an AI-enhanced personalised education system in the future?
  • How to compare learner’s performance in the long-run?
  • Cognition gaps between human understanding and neural networks.
  • Discovering user behaviour patterns that have potential value for pedagogical practices.

Who are the speakers?

Dr Qian Xiao, Human+ Programme Fellow; Prof Vincent Wade, Chair of Computer Science (1990), Trinity College Dublin, and Director of the SFI ADAPT Centre; Dr Keith Johnson, Assistant Professor, Education, Trinity College Dublin.