AI4IA 2021 - Conference Report

12 October 2021

On September 28th, the AI4Society Signature Area helped organize a one day conference on Inclusive Artificial Intelligence to celebrate the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) 2021 The conference was organized by the UNESCO Information For All Programme (IFAP) Working Group on Information Accessibility (WGIA) with support from AI4Society and the Kule Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Alberta. Also supporting the conference were the International Centre for Information Ethics (ICIE), Future Africa at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, the Centre for New Economic Diplomacy (CNED) in ORF, India and the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica. It was organized under the auspices of the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean, Kingston, Jamaica and the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa, Harare, Zimbabwe.

The full 24-hour conference was notable for its global reach and innovative format. 76 speakers prepared short video presentations that were made available in thematic pavilions in a Gather ( space designed for the conference by Nicolás Arnáez of AI4Society. U of Alberta researchers like Hero Laird of the U of Alberta participated at times convenient to their time zone so there was a steady flow of people meeting and discussing the prerecorded presentations. A total of some 400+ people registered for the conference attending at different times so that at any time there were around 50 participants online. Hosts were there to guide people new to Gather, sign language translation was made available during keynotes and closed captioning was added to all the videos in order to make the conference as inclusive as possible. Speakers from Facebook and Google talked about how they are making their products more accessible.

This is the second year that KIAS and AI4Society have supported the AI for Information Accessibility (AI4IA) conference on the International Day for Universal Access to Information. We hope to continue working with the UNESCO IFAP Working Group to support inclusive artificial intelligence.


Learn more about the event here

Revisit the map and watch on demand videos here (it will stay open indefinitely)