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AIhub monthly digest: May 2024 – causality and natural language, AfriClimate AI, and digital twins for smart cities

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29 May 2024



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Welcome to our monthly digest, where you can catch up with any AIhub stories you may have missed, peruse the latest news, recap recent events, and more. This month, we learn about causality and natural language, find out about the grassroots initiative AfriClimate AI, and discuss what responsible and trustworthy AI really means.

Interview with Salena Torres Ashton: causality and natural language

In a series of interviews, we’re chatting to some of the AAAI/SIGAI Doctoral Consortium participants to find out more about their research. We caught up with Salena Torres Ashton and found out about her work focusing on causality and natural language. Salena was a professional genealogist and historian for 25 years before deciding to return to University and study for a PhD.

Interview with Sukanya Mandal: developing a cognitive digital twin framework for smart cities

As part of the AAAI/SIGAI Doctoral Consortium series, we also heard from Sukanya Mandal. Sukanya is developing a privacy-preserving federated learning-based cognitive digital twin framework for smart cities.

AIhub coffee corner: Responsible and trustworthy AI

The AIhub coffee corner captures the musings of AI experts over a short conversation. This month, our trustees tackled the topic of responsible and trustworthy AI.

International Conference on Learning Representations

The Twelfth International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR2024) took place from 7-11 May in Vienna. You can read our summary of the invited talk by Priya Donti, who spoke about the links between AI research and climate. If you are interested in learning more about work relating to climate, you can watch the full Climate Change AI workshop which took place at the conference. You can also find out who won the test of time and outstanding paper awards.

International Conference on Robotics and Automation

Also taking place this month was the 2024 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). The conference, which was held in Yokohama, featured plenary and keynote talks, technical sessions, posters, workshops and tutorials. You can find out who won the best paper awards here.

European Union AI Act approved

On 21 May, the Council of the EU formally signed off the Artificial Intelligence Act. The legislative act will come into force in about two weeks’ time, with the new regulations being phased in over the course of the coming months and years. The legislation is designed to follow a risk-based approach, with the higher the risk a system poses, the stricter the rules relating to its use.

AfriClimate AI

AfriClimate AI is a grassroots community that was initiated with the vision to “harness the power of artificial intelligence for a sustainable, prosperous, and climate-resilient Africa”. Find out more from two of the founders, Rendani Mbuvha and Amal Nammouchi.

“AI now beats humans at basic tasks”: Really?

In her article “AI now beats humans at basic tasks”: Really?, Melanie Mitchell addresses the claims that AI can surpass humans at certain tasks and outlines reasons that AI performance on a benchmark can be misleading.

How chatbots have infiltrated scientific publishing

Chris Stokel-Walker explores how chatbots are being used by authors of scientific papers. Researchers have found that certain words outputted by large language models, such as “delve”, “commendable”, and “meticulous” have seen a significant increase in usage in published manuscripts during 2023 and 2024.

Why is it so hard to get AI right?

In nerd processor, Kieran Snyder posts each week on an aspect of AI, startups and teams. In her latest article she explains why it is so hard to get AI apps right, using the AI-generated LinkedIn sparkle questions as an example.


Our resources page
Seminars in 2024
AAAI/ACM SIGAI Doctoral Consortium interview series
AI around the world focus series
UN SDGs focus series
New voices in AI series



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Lucy Smith , Managing Editor for AIhub.
Lucy Smith , Managing Editor for AIhub.




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