Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play key roles in successfully tackling many of the great challenges society will urgently need to address over the coming years. Challenges like food scarcity, climate change, environmental damage, sustainability of energy sources and methods of transportation, and the affordability of healthcare.
At the same time, recent years have revealed serious downsides of the powers of data science and AI. A new economic system is emerging that pushes for relentless data capture and analysis, usually without people’s consent. The associated over-reaching ambitions for monitoring, predicting, and shaping human behavior harm our social fabric and threaten our open, democratic society.
A new paradigm for understanding what data is – and what rights pertain to it – is urgently needed. This new paradigm must also impact our approach to data science and AI. The Center for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Research (CeDAR) is aware of these challenges and strives for pursuing data science and AI that benefits all people and the planet.
CeDAR’s initial areas of focus include: improving the health of individuals and the healthcare system through data-driven methods and understanding of health processes; using quantitative biology to improve agriculture; sustainable resource management and combating climate change and environmental damage via AI.