Conference of the UK UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme

On 30-31 May 2023, UK National Commission for UNESCO hosted the Conference UK UNESCO Chairs Conference to mark the yearly anniversary of the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme. This event, supported by the National Commission for UNESCO, brought together over 20 participants representing some 22 UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN in the UK. This global network encourages inter-university cooperation, collaboration and information sharing. Today, the Programme involves over 700 institutions in 126 countries.

The two days of knowledge sharing inspired new ideas, partnerships, and opportunities that highlighted the value of intellectual collaboration across the network and beyond. The value of transdisciplinarity, future-oriented approaches and the need for increased North-South-South and South-South cooperation were emphasized throughout the event.

Presenting the new science of Artificial Intelligence that can put Europe on the world stage in the European Parliament

K4A is very happy to have helped co-organize an awesome half-day event at the European Parliament, titled “Beyond ChatGPT: How can Europe get in front of the pack on Generative AI Models?“, with Humane AI Net, IRCAI – International Research Center on Artificial Intelligence under the auspices of UNESCO, CLAIRE – Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe, TAILOR, AI4Media, and VISION.
A big thank you to Paul Lukowicz, Cees Snoek, Fredrik Heintz, Ioannis Kompatsiaris, Virginia Dignum, Ieva Martinkenaite, Francesca Rossi, Holger Hoos, Marko Grobelnik, Catelijne Muller, Clara Neppel, Dino Pedreschi, and Cécile Huet.

Contributing to Lillehammer’s (Norway) Lifelong Learning ICDE Conference with the workshop: “Your place in the Open Ecosystem”

KA, as a partner institution of the ENCORE + Network, approached how Open Technologies can support initiatives, projects, and business’ uptake of Open Educational Resources (OERs) in the Lifelong Learning Conference 2023 (15th-17th February) in Lillehammer (Norway), which gathered 350 participants from 32 countries.

The workshop was intended to provide participants an opportunity to imagine and recreate their work and business as Open, reflecting on OERs applicability and benefit to business, innovation, and technology in lifelong learning. There was exchange, debate, and genuine interest on the possibilities openness offer to different stakeholders.

Some of the ongoing K4A’s research for the ENCORE+ Network was also presented as relevant background for engaging participants with the activities proposed. An overview of how businesses envisioned the use and potential strategies by the use of approach was provided, in terms of services provided to learners, and technologies supporting these processes. Additionally, some of the latest AI-based solutions for OER repositories were showcased as efficient tools catering for lifelong learners’ needs.

K4A workshop at the third International Lillehammer Lifelong Learning ICDE Conference 15-17 February 2023

Funding available for human-centered AI projects

K4A is a partner in the HumanE AI network of excellence which has been running a program of micro-projects and there is a potential to link this with the Network for AI and Knowledge for Sustainable Development (NAiXUS) established jointly by the International Research Centre on AI under the Auspices of UNESCO, the DataPop Alliance, Knowledge 4 All Foundation, ELLIS Alicante UNIT and Regional Center for Studies on the Development of the Information Society ( The Humane AI has funds reserved to finance the involvement of external partners and this call is concerned with micro-projects that would like to leverage these funds to include NAiXUS partners. Check here for the opportunity.

Human AI net Micro-Projects Collaboration Network

Open education project OE4BW Eduscope 2022

A K4A co-funded project with the University of Nova Gorica (UNG) and the UNESCO Chair of Open Technologies for OER and Open Learning at the Jožef Stefan Institute (JSI) organized the Open Education for a Better World Eduscope 2022, which took place from 20 to 22 September 2022 in a hybrid format in Vipava, Slovenia.

OER projects developed through the 2022 OE4BW Mentoring Programme were be presented with short pitches and received direct feedback in a panel discussion. The program was complemented by keynote presentations on the role of Open Education in Emergencies like COVID 19, Best practices in open pedagogy, Open Education and inclusive knowledge society – Leadership and Language Issues, Open Source Authoring Tools to Create Open Educational Resources, Visual Communication Technologies and Their Applications in Education. 

During the 3-day event, the participants became familiar with open education design processes, methods, and tools. They learned from OER experts and practitioners how to align open education with developmental and strategic goals. This event built on the last four successful OE4BW Eduscopes, held as live conferences in Vipava, Slovenia, and online in 2020 and 2021. The conference’s aim was to share ideas and experiences, create new opportunities for people to network and create together, promote diversity of goals, backgrounds, and cultures, and contribute to implementing the UNESCO recommendation on open educational resources while addressing various sustainable development goals.

The periodic technical report for the HumaneAI Network successfully submitted to EU reviewers

After the HumaneAI project setup phase, initiating the internal and external collaboration mechanisms the first 18 months were focused on engaging with the research questions posed in the proposal within WPs 1-5 and conducting a series of concrete high-impact activities to connect to the community. Nearly 70 micro projects spanning the large majority of the project partners have been initiated resulting in 82 project publications, incl. Nature, PNAS, Phys.Rev, Artificial Intelligence etc papers.

A major result of this work has been the updated research agenda which includes a novel conceptual framework for human-AI collaboration, a notion of shared representations centered around of narratives and the expansion of the definition of AI trustworthiness and explainability in terms of human-computer interaction (systems that humans (both individually and as a society) feel they understand and are comfortable trusting rather than systems that “only” fulfill certain hard technical specification).

Attending the annual meeting of the African AI community in Tunis

After not taking place these past two years, K4A personnel is excited to return to the Deep Learning Indaba 2022 as attendees and sponsors in Tunis, Tunisia, from the 21st to the 26th of August.

The Deep Learning Indaba is the annual meeting of the African machine learning community with the mission to Strengthen African Machine Learning.

In 2022, the Indaba managed to see 350 members of Africa’s artificial intelligence community for a week-long event of teaching, research, exchange, and debate around the state of the art in machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Lacuna Fund 2022 grantees convening in Tunis

As of August 2021, Lacuna Fund has selected 29 projects for funding in the Agriculture, Natural Language Processing, and Equity & Health domains. Project teams from the first rounds of funding in Agriculture and Natural Language Processing have either completed or are nearly finished with their datasets. Those project teams were invited to attend the 2022 Lacuna Fund Grantee Convening.

K4A was granted two projects funded by the first rounds of Lacuna funding, Jade Abbott leading the “Masakhane MT: Decolonizing Scientific Writing for Africa” and Peter Nabende’s project “Named Entity Recognition and Parts of Speech datasets for African languages“. Both project results are available now, with links to the datasets listed on the Lacuna Fund website.

We were extremely happy to meet representatives from many of the project teams in person!

Organizing the Dagstuhl Workshop on Human-Centered AI Perspectives

Dagstuhl Report

Frank van Harmelen, Wendy Mackay and K4A director John Shawe-Taylor with the help of Virginia Dignum co-organized and ran the Human-Centred AI Perspectives Workshop at Dagstuhl from 26 June to 1 July, 2022, with 22 participants.

Society is undergoing a revolution in artificial intelligence (AI), with huge potential benefits, but also major risks for individuals and society. Increasingly, trust in the development, deployment, and the use of AI and autonomous systems concerns not only the technology’s inherent properties, but also the socio-technical systems of which they are part of, that is, the people, organisations, and societal environments in which systems are developed, implemented, and used. Currently, major challenges include the lack of fundamental theory and models to analyse and ensure that systems are aligned with human values and ethical principles, accountable, open to inspection, and understandable to diverse stakeholders. Furthermore, there is no doubt that this technological shift will have revolutionary effects on human life and society.

The goal of this Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshops was to contribute to shape that revolution, to provide the scientific and technological foundations for designing and deploying AI systems that work in partnership with human beings, to enhance human capabilities rather than replace human intelligence. Fundamentally new solutions are needed for core research problems in AI and human-computer interaction (HCI), especially to help people understand actions recommended or performed by AI systems and to facilitate meaningful interaction between humans and AI systems.

June 26 – July 1 , 2022, Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop 22262

Successful ENCORE+ meeting and great attendance at OEG Global 2022

The ENCORE+ project consortium met at the end of the 2022 edition of Open Education Global Conference in Nantes on 26th May. Project personnel was involved in the organisation of the conference in the role of programme chairs, with a great turnout of almost 300 opened practitioners. The project is related to innovation and entrepreneurship with OER, and aims to bring academia and business together, by creating a network of European OER repositories and formulate value propositions for both sectors into a Knowledge Alliance.