AI4Good Lab showcases the next generation of creative tech leaders

First Edmonton-based cohort produces 26 alumni & 6 prototypes

The 2021 AI4Good Lab has now concluded! From May to June, a cohort of 53 women from across Canada gathered digitally to participate -- 26 of whom took part in the inaugural Edmonton-based program.

“Women continue to be underrepresented in computing science, which is an issue not just to individual women, but society-at-large,” says Elissa Strome, Executive Director, Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, CIFAR. “Diverse voices and perspectives are instrumental in building robust algorithms that provide benefits across all aspects of society.”

The AI4Good Lab focuses on innovative approaches to teaching and learning AI with the goal of tackling diversity and inclusion in AI research and development as well as inspiring the next generation of technical leaders to develop AI as a force for social good. The program consists of lectures, workshops and self-directed team projects. Through the course of the program, participants gained new knowledge, forged meaningful relationships and connections with industry groups and put their skills to the test by developing AI-based solutions to a range of societal issues.

“The AI4Good Lab seeks to improve access to opportunity, and build the confidence and skill of the next generation,” says Maya Marcus-Sells, Executive Director, AI4Good Lab. “The program encourages individuals to envision a better, more equitable world, and empowers them to build towards that vision.”

The Lab’s wrap-up event on June 28, Demo Day, featured a line-up of 11 AI prototypes presented to over 100 attendees. Of these projects, six belonged to the Edmonton cohort:

  • PhysiFeedback: Transforming the at-home physiotherapy experience for individuals with arthritis through real-time pose tracking and exercise metrics to regain mobility and independence.
  • N(A)RRAT(I)VE: Helping people understand the severity of medication side effects.
  • SoQuo: SoQuo is an app that improves a user’s social media experience by helping them evaluate the impact of online interactions on their mental health.
  • RecordLing: In order to help document and preserve languages that are critically endangered, RecordLing records a speaker saying specific prompts, which are then segmented and used to generate a grammar of the language based on user feedback.
  • An AI tool to predict household energy consumption, cost, and carbon footprint for eco-conscious recommendations for users, and future planning for governments with respect to clean energy, incentivization strategies, and environmental impact.
  • cash the trash: An app that uses AI to detect trash amounts in images of local landscapes while incentivizing users to form cleanup groups and build a sense of community.

“The prototypes presented on Demo Day truly display the creativity and ingenuity of this year’s cohort,” says Warren Johnston, Product Owner of Talent at Amii. “We are thrilled to see how these women will apply their newfound knowledge to the continuation of these projects and to create innovative AI solutions for the future.”

Amii would like to extend our congratulations to the 2021 participants, who now join hundreds of other women as program alumni!

Watch presentations by three project teams -- SoQuo, N(A)RRAT(I)VE and PhysiFeedback -- at our next Virtual AI Meetup on July 22.

The Edmonton AI4Good Lab is co-presented by CIFAR, OSMO and Amii, in collaboration with Startup Edmonton and Montreal AI Ethics Institute. Thank you to our 2021 Regional Sponsors: AltaML, CGI, Deloitte, Innovate Edmonton and Servus Credit Union.

Read the AI4Good wrap-up post now: 11 Ambitious AI prototypes for a better world

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