York’s Institute for Technoscience & Society looks to shape public debate, policy

Institute for Technoscience & Society web page graphic cropped
Credit: Zoran Svilar

York University’s Institute for Technoscience & Society (ITS), established in 2022 as an Associated Research Centre of the new Connected Minds: Neural and Machine Systems for a Healthy, Just Society initiative, is on a mission to build a global hub focused on the complex relationship between technoscience – the scientific study of how humans interact with technology – and society. In particular, the institute is committed to unravelling the configuration of social power that underpins science, medicine, technology and innovation.

According to Professor Kean Birch, the inaugural director of ITS, the institute was established to cement York’s international standing and reputation in disciplines such as science and technology studies, communication and media studies, design, critical data studies, the history and philosophy of science, and other related fields in which York is a global leader. Aligned with the University’s Strategic Research Plan, especially when it comes to the topics of digital cultures and disruptive technologies, its members are actively engaged in research on the social, political, and economic implications of artificial intelligence (AI) and neuroscience.

Kean Birch
Kean Birch

Birch is enthusiastic about the future of research in this area: “We’re seeing a lot of interest in these topics,” he says, “especially in the societal implications of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and other digital technologies.”

He insists, however, the institute’s depth in expertise is not limited to those areas, extending into topics such as the history of science through games design, the global governance of biotechnology and pharmaceutical innovation.

To support this diversity of knowledge, ITS is organized into the following four research clusters to help create synergies and support collaboration:

  • Technoscientific Injustices, which deals with the implications of emerging technoscience, its impacts on different social groups, and how to create just and inclusive science and technologies;
  • Technoscientific Economies, which deals with the entanglement of science and with different economies, what kinds of innovation get promoted by which kinds of economy, and how to support responsible and inclusive innovation;
  • Technoscientific Pasts & Futures, which deals with how the future of science and technology is bound up with our pasts and how the past helps us to build hopeful visions of and policies for the future; and
  • Technoscientific Bodies & Minds, which deals with the societal implications of prevailing understandings of health risks, diseases, and health-care delivery, as well as how prevailing understandings reinforce social injustices, inequities and divisions.

The institute is making its impact known in Canadian debates about the role of science and technology in society. Recently, Birch was interviewed by the CBC about the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit against Apple Inc. for antitrust violations; and his recent opinion pieces about personal data as a collective asset and the social costs of generative AI were published in the Globe and Mail.

ITS plans to continue on this trajectory through regular events and policy briefing papers, as well as interventions in public and policy debates.

“York is incredibly well-placed to make an important social, political, and economic impact when it comes to these issues,” explains Birch, “because of the institutional strength and expertise of faculty and early career researchers here.”

Connected Minds awards inaugural seed grants

connected minds banner

As part of its mission to further socially conscious emerging technologies, Connected Minds: Neural and Machine Systems for a Healthy, Just Society has issued its inaugural round of seed grants to projects overseen by professors at York University and partner Queen’s University.

In an era where artificial intelligence (AI) and technology profoundly shape society, guiding these advancements towards a healthier, more equitable future is crucial.

In that spirit, Connected Minds has now funded six projects spanning diverse research areas, goals and themes, to foster innovative research for societal good. 

The seed funding is part of the $105.7 million York University, in partnership with Queen’s University, received from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, and it looks to further collaborative, transdisciplinary and exploratory research.

Connected Minds is especially committed to inclusivity, equity and community-centred research, reserving at least 20 per cent of its funding awards for Indigenous-led or community-guided projects – something that is reflected in its inaugural round of seed funding.

The York University recipients, and their projects, are:

Rebecca Caines, professor, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design

Rebecca Caines
Rebecca Caines

Caines’ project ­– titled “Towards Socially-Responsible ‘Transfer Learning’: Connecting Artists, Engineers, Neuroscientists and their Partners through Interdisciplinary Knowledge Mobilization” – will look at interdisciplinary collaboration. The project will build on Caines’ existing work, which often investigates the role of art and technology in social justice. It will consider how diverse knowledge bases – across disciplines – can help address societal changes through an emphasis on co-creation, ethical learning transfer and global collaboration. The research aims especially to foster inclusivity and collaboration with equity-deserving groups, particularly Indigenous communities.

Joseph DeSouza, professor, Faculty of Health

Joseph Desouza
Joseph DeSouza

DeSouza’s funded project, “The Intergenerational Healing Power of nêhiyawêwin (the Cree language),” will integrate Indigenous knowledge with neuroscience. Partnering with the organization the nêhiyawak language experience, it will explore what positive impact on holistic health can be observed in individuals who re/learn the Cree language on holistic health. In the process, the research aims to revitalize nêhiyawêwin, restore treaty obligations and foster healing within the nêhiyawak nation.

Michael Kalu, professor, Faculty of Health

Michael Kalu
Michael Kalu

Titled “Bridging Mobility Gaps: Co-designing Culturally Appropriate Mobility AI-Powered Wearable (CAMAiW) Tool for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Older Adults,” Kalu’s initiative aims to advance inclusive wearable devices. The project’s goal is to integrate speed, distance, location tracking and other health/social monitoring features within a single tool. With a commitment to inclusivity and socially ethical technologies, the project will iteratively work with BIPOC communities to co-create and test the device.

Terry Sachlos, professor, Lassonde School of Engineering

Terry Sachlos
Terry Sachlos

Sachlos’s inclusive initiative is titled “Increasing African, Caribbean, and Black Donor Representation in the Canadian Bone Marrow Stem Cell Registry through Community Engagement and Co-creation of Tissue Engineered Bone Marrow to Mitigate Critical Stem Cell Transplant Shortages.” It aims to engage with relevant community organizations and implement innovative biotechnology strategies to help dismantle barriers to health-care access and foster inclusivity towards a more equitable health-care system with a more representative bone marrow stem cell registry.

The Queen’s University recipients, and their projects, are:

Matthew Pan, professor, Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science at Queen’s University

Matthew Pan
Matthew Pan

Pan’s project, “Meta-Physical Theatre: Designing ‘Physical’ Interactions in ‘Virtual’ Reality Live Performances,” looks to enhance virtual reality experiences by integrating physical touch interactions through robotics and smart textiles, aiming to amplify immersivity.

Committed to equity and diversity, the team collaborates with arts organizations focused on racialization to foster inclusivity and develop best practices for cross-cultural sensitivity in virtual interactions.

Qingguo Li, professor, Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science at Queen’s University

Qingguo Li
Qingguo Li

Targeting health-care staff, Li’s project – “Exo-Sensory Augmentation to Reduce Musculoskeletal Injury Risk in Clinical Settings” – aims to mitigate injury risks, enhancing sensory awareness to improve task performance and prevent injuries. With inclusivity as a priority, the project endeavours to develop accessible wearable technology for clinicians of all backgrounds.

The announcement of Connected Minds’ inaugural seed funding marks the latest instance of the project’s ongoing progress throughout its first year – and beyond – which has included onboarding 14 research-enhanced hires, conferences and events, and new leadership with Pina D’Agostino.

York University’s Centre for AI & Society is pioneering research for a connected future

Graphic of artificial intelligence and society

In a bid to spearhead socially conscious artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives, the Centre for AI & Society (CAIS) aims to bridge the gap between technological advancements and societal needs.

“CAIS is one of the founding organized research units of Connected Minds, which unites research on neuroscience, AI and technology to foster a healthy and just society,” says Professor James Elder, the York Research Chair in Human and Computer Vision, who co-heads CAIS. “It is particularly important in generating novel and beneficial technologies that will improve quality of life in Canada and elsewhere, but also in understanding how these disruptive technologies can best be integrated into society in order to minimize risk and maximize benefit for all.”

The centre combines various disciplines, including behavioural and neuroscience studies, computational modelling, statistical analysis and computer vision design. The objective is to not only advance fundamental perception science and AI but also hold implications for urban mobility, social robotics and sports analytics.

The origins of CAIS sprung from York University’s strategic vision, outlined in its 2018–2023 Strategic Research Plan, which identified AI integration into society as a crucial area for development. To make that happen, Elder collaborated with Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Pina D’Agostino to form and lead a task force to evaluate York’s AI landscape and chart a course for future research development.

Their findings, published in the report “Fostering the Future of Artificial Intelligence,” laid the groundwork for CAIS, which officially launched in July 2022, uniting faculty members from diverse backgrounds and Faculties.

Guided by Elder and D’Agostino, CAIS’s mission extends beyond academic discourse. The centre aims to foster a sense of community among researchers engaged in AI and society studies while promoting dialogue through lectures and conferences on critical issues such as technology and democracy, and disability considerations in AI. Most recently, it co-organized the latest iteration of the Bracing for Impact conference, in addition to the latest entry of its monthly CAIS talk series.

Looking ahead, CAIS recently announced its inaugural advisory board and intends to expand its seminar series while hosting additional conferences, and involving more trainees, including graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

These efforts and more align with York University’s broader institutional goals under the interdisciplinary, $318.4-million Connected Minds initiative, which is currently investigating how emerging technologies, such as AI, are impacting and transforming society.

As AI continues to evolve at a rapid pace, CAIS remains committed to driving innovation while ensuring responsible AI deployment. By fostering collaboration, dialogue and cutting-edge research, the centre aims to shape a future where AI serves as a force for positive societal change.

Adds Elder, “Our systems approach places emphasis on how AI technologies operate when embedded in real-world contexts, interacting with humans and other technologies. Our research focuses on AI systems that address societal priorities in health care, smart cities and sustainability, and that are fair, explainable, reliable and trusted.”

Osgoode prof named Woman of the Year by Canadian Italian business community

3d golden star golden with lighting effect on black background. Template luxury premium award design. Vector illustration

By Corey Allen, senior manager, research communications

Pina D’Agostino, an associate professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, has been named Woman of the Year by the Canadian Italian Business & Professional Association of Toronto (CIPBA).

Pina D'Agostino
Pina D’Agostino

“I am incredibly humbled and honoured to be recognized by the very community that I have deep roots in,” said D’Agostino. “My parents were both immigrants from Italy to Canada and, like many others seeking a better future for their families, came without speaking a word of English and with nothing but their dreams for a better future. I dedicate this award to them for all their sacrifices.”

She added: “As a woman, I stand with so many other women who continue to face barriers in their personal and professional lives. I join an impressive group of female recipients of this award and am grateful to CIBPA for shining the spotlight on our many successes.”

Last week, D’Agostino assumed her new role as scientific director of Connected Minds: Neural and Machine Systems for a Healthy, Just Society, the $318.4-million, York-led research program focused on socially responsible technologies, supported in part by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.

In addition to her role with Connected Minds, D’Agostino is the founder and former director of IP Osgoode and the co-director of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence & Society. Her research explores issues related to artificial intelligence through a legal lens, including data governance and ownership, intellectual property, emerging technologies, and innovation law and policy.

Since 2010, D’Agostino has also been the founder and director of the IP Innovation Clinic based at Osgoode Hall Law School, where she has helped startups across the University and beyond by engaging law students and leading intellectual property lawyers to provide help pro-bono amounting to more than $2 million in otherwise billable fees.

“Her remarkable contributions to law, technology, and education have set her apart as a leader in her field and an inspiration to us all,” said CIBPA President Tony Cocuzzo.

D’Agostino and her work will be honoured at a CIBPA event on March 20.

Connected Minds researcher explores AI’s future at top conference

AI robot looking at crystal ball

Thousands of artificial intelligence (AI) researchers from around the world have gathered in Vancouver this week for one of the largest international academic conferences on AI and machine learning.

Laleh Seyyed-Kalantari
Laleh Seyyed-Kalantari

Among the attendees of the 38th annual Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Conference on Artificial Intelligence is York University’s Laleh Seyyed-Kalantari, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and a member of Connected Minds: Neural and Machine Systems for a Healthy, Just Society – a $318.4-million, York-led program focused on socially responsible technologies, funded in part by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.

Seyyed-Kalantari will bring her leading research expertise in responsible AI to the conference, while also helping to run a Connected Minds- and VISTA-sponsored workshop on responsible language models (ReLM 2024), alongside researchers from the internationally recognized Vector Institute, a Connected Minds partner.

In the Q-and-A below, she talks about the workshop and the state of AI research.

Q: Why a workshop on responsible language models?   

A: The use of generative AI models, like ChatGPT, is increasingly becoming more and more common in our everyday lives. In fact, recent studies show that generative AI (GPT-4) can be programmed to pass the U.S. medical examination or pass the bar exam to become a lawyer. This has encouraged the idea that generative AI models can replace humans, but the reality is that this is not true, and we are far away from that point.

For my research and that of my Connected Minds colleagues, the question is not if generative AI models can be used for good – they can – but a more important and pressing question to ask inside and outside of this workshop is whether these AI models generate reliable and responsible things. Despite our rapidly evolving technological world, the answer is still no. Our workshop aims to get at the right kinds of questions both academia and industry should consider now and in the future.

Q: What makes a language model responsible?

A: Responsible language models can be evaluated with the following factors in mind: fairness, robustness, accountability, security, transparency and privacy. AI models need to be tested and evaluated for whether they are fair to all its human users. For example, AI models use data that may not include ethnic minority populations, and programmers run the risk of amplifying existing racial biases. Robustness involves assessing the generated material and its accuracy. Does it generate the right or consistent solution? Is it robust to adversarial attacks? Accountability involves decisions about regulation and legislation. Who oversees ensuring the model is fair? Security means how to protect a model from malicious attacks. Transparency and privacy refer to the use and permissibility of people’s private data, including medical information. These six factors set up a framework for a broad discussion on various issues related to responsible AI and machine learning in the context of language models.

Q: What are you most looking forward to by attending the conference and running this workshop?

A: The trip to Vancouver offers an opportunity for a significant exchange of ideas and collaborative brainstorming among a diverse group of communities, bringing academia and industry together. It’s a rare chance to gather with influential figures in the field of generative AI, all in one space. It allows us to discuss the issues, to learn from one another, and to shape future research questions and collaboration surrounding large language models. I’m grateful to Connected Minds and VISTA [Vision: Science to Applications] for helping to advance my work and for making this event possible.

Connected Minds: one year later

connected minds banner

Since Connected Minds: Neural and Machine Systems for a Healthy, Just Society launched in spring 2023, the $318.4-million project has already achieved several milestones pushing forward the project – and York University – as a leader in socially responsible emerging technology.

It’s been nearly a year since President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton and Vice-President Research and Innovation Amir Asif announced that Connected Minds had received $105.7 million from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF), the “largest single federal grant ever awarded to York.”

The cutting-edge program aims to bring together experts across eight York Faculties and three Queen’s Faculties to examine the ways in which technology is transforming society – dubbed the “techno-social collective” – and will work to balance both the potential risks and benefits for humanity. Some of the program’s proposed projects include explorations into a more inclusive metaverse, virtual reality and community organizing, neurotechnologies for healthy aging, Indigenous data sovereignty and how human brain function changes when people interact with artificial intelligence (AI) versus each other.

Doug Crawford
Doug Crawford

Since the funding announcements in early 2023, Connected Minds – the biggest York-led research project in the University’s history – has been busy. “As founding scientific director, it’s incredibly gratifying see the progress we have made this first year, thanks to the very hard work of our leadership team, dedicated staff and the support of our board of directors,” says Doug Crawford, who is also a Distinguished Research Professor and Canada Research Chair in visuomotor neuroscience.

In addition to seed grants and PhD awards given out, over the past 12 months, Connected Minds has expanded its roster of experts by onboarding 14 research-enhanced hires across York University and institutional partner Queen’s University. The new additions are part of the program’s efforts to attract and retain the best talent, as well as a fulfillment of its commitment to add 35 strategic faculty hires, research Chairs or equivalent levels of support to its interdisciplinary research ecosystem. The new Connected Minds members will benefit from support that includes $100,000 in startup research funding, salary top-up and/or teaching release, and a research allowance of $25,000 per year.

Connected Minds’ progress was also successfully commended by the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat – which administers the Canada First Research Excellence Fund – during a site visit showcasing the various research units affiliated with the program, and the progress its made.

To further demonstrate the program’s – and York University’s – leadership in socially responsible technology, Connected Minds has also been organizing events, like the Introductory Meeting on Law and Neuroscience in Canada, which united experts from Canada and the United States for in-depth discussions on socially responsible research at the intersection of law and neuroscience at the renowned Monk School of Global Affairs in Toronto.

Giuseppina (Pina) D'Agostino
Giuseppina (Pina) D’Agostino

Connect Minds will also shortly host an event marking the culmination of its inaugural year: the Connected Minds Annual Research Retreat on Feb. 22 and 23. The retreat will unite members across diverse disciplines – including arts, science, health, law and more – to collectively shape the future of socially responsible technology. The goal is to help provide networking opportunities for members to get to know each other better and form the teams that will apply to grants and achieve the program’s long-term goals. It aims to do so through information sessions, active participation in shaping Connected Minds’ Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) action plan, and connect with our research-enhanced hires, who will be delivering big-idea talks during the retreat.

The retreat will also mark another notable milestone: a transition in leadership. Crawford will be succeeded by Professor Pina D’Agostino, founder and former director of IP Osgoode and co-director of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence & Society, where her expertise is frequently sought by government bodies to address the evolving intersection of AI and the law. Now, it will be applied to leading Connected Minds into what will promise to be another year of accomplishments.

“I am thrilled to be taking the program to the next level by building on the strong foundation we now have and engaging with all of our incredible partners and communities to work towards our goals of a healthy and just society,” says D’Agostino, looking ahead to how Connected Minds will continue to thrive and make contributions to interdisciplinary research.

York conference to advance AI for a healthy, just society

connected minds banner

On Thursday, March 7 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., York University’s Connected Minds: Neural and Machine Systems for a Healthy, Just Society, the Centre for AI & Society (CAIS) and the IP Innovation Clinic will host the latest iteration of the Bracing for Impact conference series, which will focus on the rapid advancements and implications of artificial intelligence (AI).

AI is changing the world rapidly and as it does, it is important to have conversations not just about how to develop and use AI, but what the most responsible ways to do so are.

This year’s Bracing for Impact conference – titled Shaping the AI Challenge for a Healthy, Just Society – looks to advance socially conscious AI by exploring what implications the technology’s advancement may have for improving society. The conference will focus on the rapid advancements and implications of AI, with the spotlight on the technology’s intersection with health, neurotechnology, intellectual property, regulation, data governance, the arts and more. This one-day conference will bring together a multidisciplinary audience to discuss how AI can help shape a healthy and just society.

Giuseppina (Pina) D'Agostino
Giuseppina (Pina) D’Agostino

“In 2017 when we first launched Bracing for Impact, AI was still somewhat far-reaching,” explains Giuseppina (Pina) D’Agostino, vice-director of Connected Minds, founder and director of the IP Innovation Clinic and co-director of CAIS. “AI is now here and many of us are still in a brace position, attempting to understand how this technology is intermingling with our daily lives with all of its benefits and challenges. Our conference brings together diverse voices essential to explore these critical issues for the benefit of a healthy and just society for all.”

The conference will bring together Canadian and international academics as well as legal, policy, and technology practitioners to speak to ways of shaping AI and its uses for social betterment.

The event is being held at OneEleven on 325 Front Street West in Toronto and is sponsored by Microsoft Canada. Student and professional rates are offered and include food and refreshments.

Register via the Eventbrite page. For any questions about the conference, email connectedmindsinfo@yorku.ca.

York’s world-leading vision research program looks towards the future 

Doug Crawford with members of VISTA team

By Corey Allen, senior manager, research communications

VISTA: Vision Science to Applications, York University’s first large-scale research program to receive support from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF), will enter a new phase in 2024 after marking its seven-year milestone.     

The novel program was first awarded $33.4 million from CFREF, the country’s top federal research grant, back in 2016. Since then, the VISTA program has established itself as an international leader in vision research across a wide range of real-world applications – from basic visual function to 3D imaging to computer vision and object recognition – and played a significant role in growing York University’s standout reputation in the field of vision science.

Doug Crawford speaking at VISTA event
Doug Crawford speaking at the VISTA celebration.

“VISTA has been a labour of love and it’s taken vision research at York to the next level,” said Doug Crawford, the program’s inaugural scientific director, who now heads up York’s second CFREF program, Connected Minds. “I believe that over these last seven years, VISTA has become the best vision research program in the world.”  

With over 500 international co-authored publications, over 100 research awards, dozens of patent filings and invention disclosures, several startups, among other achievements, the VISTA program has experienced great success.  

VISTA funded 18 new faculty hires and 148 postgraduate trainees, working across five Faculties, including the Lassonde School of Engineering, the Faculty of Health, the Faculty of Science, the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, and the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.  

The program’s partnership and affiliate programs resulted in more than 300 external collaborations across multiple sectors, leading to new applications in law enforcement, clinical diagnosis, art exhibits and space research.  

James Elder with his research demo
James Elder, VISTA member and York Research Chair in Human and Computer Vision, demonstrates his research on an attentive robot.

Altogether, the program’s distinguished membership, including 16 Canada Research Chairs, brought in more than $89 million of external research income, including research grants and partner contributions.  

Now that the CFREF grant is coming to the end of its seven-year term, VISTA will continue to operate as part of the Centre for Vision Research (CVR) at York, where an interdisciplinary team gathers to advance fundamental research that merges techniques in human psychophysics, visual neuroscience, computer vision and computational theory. 

In addition to the historic CFREF grant, contributions from the University and other external partners, the VISTA program received more than $120 million in total funding over its first seven years. 

Guests at the VISTA celebration trying a research demo
Guests at the VISTA celebration event test out some of the research program’s technology applications.

“VISTA forged strong and sustained links between vision science at York and industry partners, nationally and internationally,” said Laurie Wilcox, an esteemed vision researcher and VISTA’s new scientific director. “The program has fostered close collaborations, invested in state-of-the-art equipment and laid the foundation for a continued focus on applied vision with the Centre for Vision Research. I am excited to work with the CVR to establish this new phase of the VISTA program.”

To mark the program’s milestone seventh year and its transition, the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation hosted a celebration event earlier this month.  

“With many of the world’s top experts conducting cutting-edge research and innovation, training highly qualified personnel, and offering academic programs in the field of biological and computer vision right here at York, the VISTA program is a crowning achievement of their research excellence, and an incredible source of pride for the entire University community,” said Amir Asif, vice-president research and innovation, speaking at the event.

Ian P. Howard lecture offers glimpse into vision and the human brain

Brain scan MRI

On Oct. 6, Jack Gallant, a professor from the University of California, Berkley, will be the speaker at this year’s Ian P. Howard Memorial Lecture and Reception, hosted by the York University Centre for Vision Research (CVR). He will give a talk titled “Active Navigation and the Human Brain,” which will be representative of the techniques and types of questions that will be central to the York University Connected Minds research project.

Gallant is a distinguished neuroscientist with expertise on how natural scenes are represented in the human brain. His lecture will provide a unique opportunity to learn about the complex brain networks that underlie vision, language and other cognitive functions. Notably, it will highlight how navigation is a complex and dynamic task that engages multiple brain systems for perception, cognition, planning, decision making and motor control.

During his talk, Gallant will also share results from experiments where participants first learned to navigate through a large virtual city containing hundreds of distinct roads, buildings and landmarks, then performed a taxi driver task in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner while brain activity was recorded. The results will help describe human functional neuroimaging experiments that overcome many of the limitations of prior navigation studies, and which produce rich computational models that explain human brain function during naturalistic, active navigation.

In addition to representing central elements of the Connected Minds project, recently funded by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, Gallant’s talk will also continue the Ian P. Howard Memorial Lecture and Reception series’ ongoing commitment to providing high-level talks of general interest by distinguished speakers in vision science. The series was established to bring outstanding world leaders in the field of vision and sensory processing to the CVR at York to speak to, and interact with, members of the centre and other scholars in the field.

The talk, followed by a reception, will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6 in the York University Senate Chambers, N940 Ross Building. Further information can be found here: yorku.ca/cvr/wp-content/uploads/sites/90/2023/09/poster-IPH-Gallant-scaled.jpg.

York community gathers to celebrate Connected Minds

Partners from Queens University and York University at the May 15 event to celebrate the Connected Minds project

York community members gathered on May 15 to celebrate Connected Minds, the largest York-led research program in the University’s history.

Connected Minds: Neural and Machine Systems for a Healthy, Just Society is a first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary research program, funded in part by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF), that will work to ensure technological progress and the future of AI is fair and equitable. For more about the program and the researchers, see this story: York University leads groundbreaking research to ensure technology revolution leaves no one behind.

Attendees had the opportunity to enter an Indigenous metaverse in an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience, test their skills behind the wheel in a driving simulator, take in a VR art installation, jumble their senses in a tumbling room that can spin 360 degrees, interact with some of the latest robots used in University research, and more.

Click here to watch the full event recap on YouTube. To see photos from the event, view the gallery below.