The Value of AI, its Challenges and the Future: AI4Good Lab 2020 Speaker Series Retrospective

AI4Good Speaker Series

As we enter the Prototype Development phase of our curriculum, we would like to reflect on the progress in Machine Learning achieved by our students over the last four weeks and acknowledge those who supported their journey.

While math and coding are critical to AI education, we also need context to drive impact. The AI4Good Lab had the privilege of inviting eleven leaders to take part in our Speaker Series. They shared cutting-edge research, raised questions about ethical AI, showed how AI is being used today, and how we are preparing to use it for tomorrow.

These talks drew the participants into the real-life applications of AI, and helped spark their imaginations towards development of their AI prototypes for social good. Now that the participants are actively developing their projects, we are excited to see the culmination of their work as inspired by our speakers in our final Demo Day on July 28th.

We give a heartfelt thanks to all of our speakers from our three series who are helping inspire the next generation of AI leadership.


Our industry partners gave key insight into how AI is understood, developed, and implemented in a business model.

Interning at DeepMind

  • Abby Pounder
  • Research Scientist Internships
  • Ellen Roche
  • Engineering Internships
  • DeepMind

Computer Vision, and Accountability

  • Dr. Negar Rostamzade
  • Research Scientist, Ethical AI team
  • Google Brain

AI and the Future of Work

  • Jodie Wallis
  • Managing Director for Applied Intelligence
  • Accenture Canada

Modern NLP: Data Challenges

  • Dr. Layla El Asri
  • Research Team Lead
  • Borealis AI

Design Thinking Workshop

  • Vincent Theriault
  • IBM iX Québec Leader
  • IBM


Academic researchers and University professors who came to share frontier research in AI.

Reproducible, Reusable, and Robust Reinforcement Learning

Dr. Joelle Pineau
Faculty member at Mila, Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar at the School of Computer Science at McGill, co-Director of the Reasoning and Learning Lab, co-Managing Director of Facebook AI Research

Fair Decision Making in Multiagent Systems: Designing Algorithms with Humans in Mind

Dr. Kate Larson
Professor in the Cheriton School of Computer Science
University of Waterloo

AI for Good: Computer Science Helping the World

Dr. Maria Gini
CSE Distinguished Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering
University of Minnesota

(The Many Faces of) Generalization

Dr. Martha White
Associate Professor Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta, Member of RLAI and PI of AMII
University of Alberta


Social good innovators who shared their work in promoting AI built for bettering society.

Mining Connections to Understand Complex Societies and Markets

Dr. Reihanah Rabbany
Canada CIFAR AI Chair, Mila, Assistant Professor School of Computer Science McGill University
Aayushi Kulshrestha
Master Thesis Student, McGill University

Social Entrepreneurship & AI

Bonnie Chiu
Co-founder & CEO
Humanity Data Systems

AI Ethics Workshop

Abhishek Gupta
Founder of Montreal AI Ethics Institute (MAEI), Machine Learning Engineer at Microsoft (CSE Responsible AI Board)

Facilitators: Allison Cohen, Camylle Lanteigne, Erick Galinkin

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