General Posts

European OER ecosystem launched

We are excited to be launching our collaborative approach to enhancing the European OER ecosystem with a series of events this Autumn! The events are great opportunities to network with relevant stakeholder groups and lead the discourse around the future of education and training in Europe. Read more here: https://encoreproject.eu/2021/09/02/launching-the-encore-oer-ecosystem/

Survey on Open Educational Resources

Based on recommendations by the European Commission and UNESCO, we are developing the new European OER ecosystem. Help us shape the network by participating in this short survey.

This study contributes to the European Network for Catalysing Open Resources in Education (ENCORE+), a pan-European Knowledge Alliance funded under the Erasmus+ programme. The project is an initiative of the International Council for Distance Education (ICDE) as well as several higher education instutions and businesses across Europe and will run from 2021 to 2023 to support the modernisation of education in the European area through OER.

#education #surveying #research #highereducation

AI for education project ending in the Horizon 2020 programme, but work still continues

The project has developed a commoditized set of tools and systems that enable the ingestion of OER material into the X5GON registry including semantic cross-lingual indexing of materials, automatic transcription and translation of recordings, assessment of how engaging the material is, and potentially how it might sequence with other OERs.

Further, methods for automatically estimating the knowledge of users based on their track record of viewing different OERs enables the system to recommend content that is likely to engage and prove useful for learners and teachers.

X5GON ending in the Horizon 2020 programme, but work still continues
X5GON ending in the Horizon 2020 programme, but work still continues

For example, a moodle plug-in can provide such recommendations at the level of a particular course, while the X5learn system can make recommendations to individual learners based on their earlier viewing experience.

The project has actively engaged with OER sites and developed systems to assist with the incorporation of OERs into the X5GON registry significantly growing the number of sites and materials that are indexed by the X5gon tools.

Wikimedia Foundation Research Award of the Year

Work partially funded by K4A has won the inaugural 2021 Wikimedia Foundation Research Award of the Year with the paper “Participatory Research for Low-resourced Machine Translation: A Case Study in African Languages” and the Masakhane Community

This paper and the Masakhane community have attempted to fundamentally change how we approach the challenge of “low-resourced languages” in Africa via a set of projects funded by K4A, with the support of UNESCO, IDRC, and GIZ. The research describes a novel approach for participatory research around machine translation for African languages. The authors show how this approach can overcome the challenges these languages face to join the Web and some of the technologies other languages benefit from today.

The work of the authors and the community is an inspiring example of work towards Knowledge Equity, one of the two main pillars of the 2030 Wikimedia Movement Strategy. “As a social movement, we will focus our efforts on the knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege. We will welcome people from every background to build strong and diverse communities. We will break down the social, political, and technical barriers preventing people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge.”

We cannot think of a better or more inspiring example of a project we have been involved in the last couple of years.

Knowledge 4 All Foundation supports IRCAI Launch

On March 29 and 30 2021, the IRCAI launch event took place. 1083 registered participants from 123 countries attended and were addressed by esteemed speakers on the first day of the event. Participants came from all geographical regions of United Nations: African, Asian-Pacific, Eastern European, Latin American and Caribbean and Western European states. Non-registered participants were also invited to watch the event via live streaming on YouTube. The launch was created with input from 33 active speakers and panelists.

In his speech, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Mr. Borut Pahor, emphasized that the establishment of IRCAI in Ljubljana is a great recognition for Slovenian researchers and the Jožef Stefan Institute who have been working on artificial intelligence in Slovenia for several decades. According to President Pahor, artificial intelligence is a tool for a better life and offers great opportunities “for progress, for more accessible and efficient public services, quality education and better access to information, and helps us fight climate change, introduce new forms of mobility and use energy more efficiently.”

Read full report here.

Participating Countries

The Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Ms Audrey Azoulay, who attended the event live from Paris, regretted that she could not be there live as originally planned and welcomed IRCAI to the UNESCO family. “IRCAI has become a space that directs academic and human resources to research topics within the mandate of UNESCO, which, as you know, includes education, culture, science and information,” adding that despite the large number of UNESCO centers, none yet deals with artificial intelligence. “Thanks to IRCAI, we now have the support of an entire team that is directing its diverse skills to ensure that artificial intelligence is used in a way that serves the common good. We are fortunate to have an ally like this to help make our ambitions reality,” she added, explaining the important role IRCAI played in drafting the UNESCO Recommendation on Ethical Artificial Intelligence and personally thanking the team for their efforts in leading the regional consultation on the draft recommendation. “We have already had a glimpse of the potential of this partnership. This inauguration is therefore very promising,” she concluded.

Number of Participants by Country

The Minister of Education, Science and Sport of Slovenia,Prof Simona Kustec stressed the importance of cooperation in creating opportunities to address current challenges, including through artificial intelligence, and called on all participants to work together. The Minister of Public Administration of Slovenia, Mr Boštjan Koritnik stressed that “Slovenia aims for a high quality and ethical use of artificial intelligence that citizens can trust” and emphasized that artificial intelligence will be one of the main priorities during the Slovenian EU Presidency.

The development of artificial intelligence in Slovenia was also highlighted by prof. Boštjan Zalar, Director of the Jožef Stefan Institute, who stressed that the Institute has a 40-year history in the development of artificial intelligence, over 70 major projects in various departments of the Institute and that in his opinion IRCAI can further strengthen these achievements.

Number of Participants by Country

Support for IRCAI was also expressed by the representative of European Commission with which IRCAI has many strategic synergies. Anthony Whelan , Digital Policy Adviser from the cabinet of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen noted, “It is indeed a nice coincidence that the Slovenian Presidency is preparing to work with such an excellent asset at its doorstep, and we hope that this will also serve as a flagship for international efforts.“

The sequence of events leading to the establishment of IRCAI and the results of the Center’s work so far were presented by its Director, Prof. John Shawe-Taylor. “IRCAI has already established active cooperation with a wide range of international organizations, which it intends to further strengthen and expand,” he said in his speech. Among other things, he called for active participation through projects listed on the Center’s website.

Number of Participants by Projects

On the first day, a panel discussion, which included several speakers from African countries, focused on building a global artificial intelligence community. The second day of the event focused on presentations of the results of IRCAI activities, opportunities for collaboration, and the use of artificial intelligence tools to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. Presentations were given by IRCAI Program Committee representatives Aidan O’Sullivan, Colin de La Higuera, Catherine Holloway and Delmiro Fernandez-Reyes.

Analyzes of 6 Regional Consultations on UNESCO recommendation on AIethics and IRCAI ethics andregulatory approaches were presented alongside panel discussions on the issues of the need for policy action on AI. IRCAI Funding and Innovation Program: Social Impact Bonds, AI policies around the world and AI Global Observatory were also presented by IRCAImember organizations Daniel Miodovnik, Mark Minevich and Marko Grobelnik respectively. The presentations included 5 reports co-authored by IRCAI representatives: Artificial Intelligence in Sub-Saharan Africa, Artificial Intelligence Needs Assessment Survey in Africa, UNESCO Ethics of AI Recommendation Regional Consultations, Opinion Series Reports: UNESCO Ethics of AI Recommendation Regional Consultations, Responsible Artificial Intelligence in Sub-Saharan Africa and Powering Inclusion: Artificial Intelligence and Assistive Technology.

A call for collaboration has also been launched to join IRCAI, which is actively working on 10 projects to be implemented by 2021. These are all designed to scale and deploy AI to achieve the Global Challenges that the Center has set out to achieve. IRCAI is seeking partnerships with, International Organizations, governments, companies, NGOs, universities, research institutes, AI consortia and government agencies around the world to implement these projects.

New podcast by Wale Akinfaderin on AI for parliamentary documents in Nigerian

Adewale Akinfaderin
Adewale Akinfaderin

Wale Akinfaderin is a K4A grantee within the AI4D programme working on Predicting and Analyzing Law-Making in Kenya has delivered a podcast for an episode of “I Am Change” podcast series with Korede Azeez. The interview can be found on Soundcloud and Apple podcast.

The project proposes expanding a framework on categorizing parliamentary bills in Nigeria using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), document embedding and recurrent neural networks to three other countries in Africa: Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa.

His work was accepted at 4th Widening NLP Workshop, Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2020.

New call for AI4D innovation grants open now

Deep Learning Indaba 2019, Nairobi, Kenya
Deep Learning Indaba 2019, Nairobi, Kenya

Knowledge 4 All Foundation partnered with the Deep Learning Indaba to fund research projects across Africa that are collaborative at heart and have a strong development focus.

This Call for Proposals invites individuals, grassroots organizations, initiatives, academic, and civil society institutions to apply for funding for mini-projects.

A mini-project could also be early-stage research around our Grand Challenge of curing leishmaniasis.

National consultation on digital credentails

We are currently working on a technical infrastructure that organisations can use to issue digital credentials across the EU and beyond. This technical infrastructure could be used by various stakeholders when issuing any type of Digital Credential to learners. The work was presented at the National workshop on micro-credentials and blockchain certification on May 28 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

K4A awarded by European Commission with two major AI projects

The European Commission is funding 4 networks of AI research excellence centres with EUR 50 million through Horizon 2020, for supporting collaborative research addressing industrial and scientific challenges identified by such networks in joint research agendas. Knowledge 4 All Foundation is part of two of these networks in order to call expects to mobilise the best research teams and the most prominent experts in the field. The two projects are ELISE  and HumaneAI.

Coronavirus Watch dashboard released

Just released! 5D animated visualization of coronavirus spread by K4A trustee Marko Grobelnik. You can track the development from late January till today globally/per country/per capita. Available on the Coronavirus Watch page.