Two exciting ADAPT projects receive SFI Discover funding for 2021

24 March 2021


ADAPT is delighted to be leading two new exciting public engagement projects for 2021. The projects have been funded under the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Discover Programme announced today by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD.

The ADAPT-led projects aim to consider the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in our lives and the data literacy skills required to tackle online misinformation and fake news. The projects bring together a range of partners including Dublin City University’s Access service, Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software, the Future of Privacy Forum, the INTEGRITY H2020 project and Trinity College Dublin’s Grand Canal Innovation District.

The ‘AI in My Life’ project will engage 500 Dublin teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds in an interactive workshop series encouraging them to reflect on their experiences in a world shaped by artificial intelligence, personal data processing and digital transformation. Through the workshops, students will be empowered to evaluate the ethical and privacy implications of AI in their lives, to protect their digital privacy and to activate STEM career and university awareness. AI in My Life  extends the ‘DCU TY’ programme for innovative educational opportunities for Transition Year students from underrepresented communities in higher education.

The second project focuses on data literacy – the ability to collect, manage, manipulate, present, and understand data. Data literacy is a skill set which is essential in assessing and verifying information presented in various media, but few opportunities, outside formal education, currently exist to acquire and develop these skills. ADAPT is partnering with TCD’s Grand Canal Innovation District to run a series of Data Literacy Workshops for Adults to develop the skills. The workshops will tackle the complex issue of online misinformation through the lens of Irish history, with particular focus on the misrepresentation of the Irish slave trade in the 17th century. These activities and tools will encourage participants to interrogate the information they encounter online in new and different ways.

In 2021, ADAPT will continue its SFI Discover-funded Technology in My Life: Citizens’ Think-Ins series and Voices for Vaccines project. Citizens’ Think-Ins are public forums which bring people together to discuss the ethical issues we face in the digital age. Over the course of the year, a series of 10 public workshops will provide members of the public with the opportunity to have their say on topics such as health information, ethical AI and human-centred technology. Through interactive workshops, Voices for Vaccines aims to inspire confidence in the science behind vaccines and counteract vaccine disinformation by developing campaign materials in direct collaboration with parents and medical experts from areas that are experiencing declines in vaccine uptake.