The Faculty of Arts acknowledges that we are on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg, and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our actions toward reconciliation take place through our research, teaching, learning, and community events, with guidance from the University’s Indigenous Initiatives Office.
We are pleased to announce that David Jones and Mimi Onuoha are going to be the 2019 Jarislowsky Fellows, leading ARTS 490 Socio-Cultural and Political Implications of Artificial Intelligence in Winter 2019.
David Jones is the Executive Producer at Microsoft's Envisioning Center, which is involved with foresight and digital storytelling about the future of work and productivity. Mimi Onuoha is a renowned New York artist and coder who is currently involved in a series of arts installations, entitled "Missing Datasets" which question data collection practices, excluding certain societal groups and their experiences. The Jarislowsky Fellows, along with the course instructors, aim to equip students with the critical skills and know-how so as to be prepared to engage in shaping the future of AI.
We have seen exponential growth in the automation of jobs, from the manufacturing to the service sector, and the consequent transformations of our everyday lives, including the displacement of human labour. We are also witness to new cultural forms ranging from gaming devices to companion robots. It's clear then that the socio-cultural and political impacts of such trends deserve our attention -- as students, scholars, policy makers, and practitioners.
Seminar based discussions with experts in the field of AI will provide students with the opportunity to pose serious questions about socio-cultural and political impacts and societal responses to such technologies, including the role of corporate ownership, embedded biases of algorithms, privacy concerns, etc.