The UWI launches a new Research Cluster on Generative AI for Good Research

The UWI, Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. Friday, April 19, 2024—The increased use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes with challenges such as ethics, societal impact, regulatory uncertainty, data privacy, and labour displacement, yet AI has potential for societal good, such as increased efficiency, improved healthcare, and advancement in research and science. To explore the myriad challenges and opportunities for the Caribbean, the School for Graduate Studies and Research at The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has established a network of researchers focused on fostering interdisciplinary collaboration among academicians, researchers, industry leaders, and policymakers to ensure AI brings good to the region.

The network, known as a research cluster is expected to develop cutting-edge, globally competitive postgraduate programs that enhance understanding and skills in AI and its use. Speaking at the cluster’s launch event held on April 5, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Graduate Studies and Research, Professor Aldrie Henry-Lee noted that the initiative is strategic for the University in pursuing its mission of advancing learning, creating knowledge, and fostering innovation for positive transformation in the Caribbean and the wider world. She assured that The UWI promotes AI for good and promotes its ethical and equitable use; beneficial to all, especially the most vulnerable in the society.  

Led by Academic Director of The UWI Five Islands Campus in Antigua, Dr. Curtis Charles, the management of the cluster is supported by Professor Patrick Hosein of the St. Augustine Campus, Professor Ian Hambelton of Cave Hill Campus, and Professor Maurice McNaughton of Mona Campus. At the launch, Dr. Charles explained that the principle of the operation of the cluster is to initiate a strategic alliance among the five campuses dedicated to harnessing the transformative power of generative artificial intelligence. He noted that the design intended is a network effect with each campus having an AI lab comprising experts focused on cutting-edge research and interdisciplinary collaboration. It will also provide a broad structure to incorporate a variety of stakeholders across the Caribbean community and showcase the expertise of The UWI system to generate financial activity. 

Among the next steps over the next two years include establishing a website and supporting digital presence, hosting and participating in research seminars and workshops, and from July 8-10, the Five Islands Campus in Antigua & Barbuda will host the University’s first international artificial intelligence conference, themed “Reimagining the Digital Transformation of the Caribbean in an Age of Regenerative AI and the Fifth Industrial Revolution”. Interested persons are invited to learn more and register at Early bird discount ends April 30.

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