By Malavika Sajan

Carleton University master’s students Benjamin Faveri (Political Economy) and David Clarabut (Civil Engineering) have each been awarded a Vector Scholarship in Artificial Intelligence. Valued at $17,500, this scholarship is awarded to top students pursuing an AI master’s in Ontario and is offered by the Vector Institute, one of Canada’s three national AI labs.

Carleton University Political Economy master’s student Benjamin Faveri has won a Vector Scholarship in Artificial Intelligence

Faveri is researching the various pathways that standards and certifications have taken to become referenced or incorporated in national legislation and regulation—a process called orchestration—and applying any identified pathways to emerging AI standards and certifications.

According to Faveri, “There are 1400+ AI and AI-related national and international standards and certifications. It is unrealistic to expect firms to have the expertise or time to sift through that many standards and certifications to find the ideal or best one for their goals. Previously, in other industries, this same problem emerged and was addressed by the government essentially choosing the ideal or best standard or certification and incorporating or referencing its requirements in national legislation or regulations.”

As firms look to these standards and certifications to tangibly demonstrate their responsible AI practices, often to gain a market advantage over those that cannot tangibly demonstrate their responsible AI practices, they need a way of determining which standards and certifications are “ideal” or “best.”

“It is wonderful to see Faveri’s research receiving this support,” says Prof. Graeme Auld, Faveri’s MA supervisor. “The challenges of governing AI may seem unique, but there is great value in seeking to understand past experiences to see whether, and how, they may inform more effective AI governance approaches. Moreover, his work stands to make important contributions investigating the relationships between technical standards and regulation.”

After his MA, Faveri will take the identified pathways in his thesis and apply them to the Responsible AI Certification Program and international AI standards he has helped build and develop over the last 2.5 years at the Responsible AI Institute and International Organization for Standardization. He also may continue this line of research into a PhD.

While Faveri’s previous professional experience and proposed research is focused on AI governance, Clarabut’s exposure to AI-related research and outstanding research potential prompted him to apply for the scholarship.

Carleton University Civil Engineering master’s student David Clarabut has won a Vector Scholarship in Artificial Intelligence

Clarabut’s previous research involved studying the non-linear structural dynamics of spinning blades. Clarabut aims to use AI to perform inverse modelling, which involves using measurements to estimate the contribution of components in dynamical systems to their overall behavior.

His research tackles “…some fundamental problems that machine learning algorithms face,” says Prof. Abhijit Sarkar, Clarabut’s MASc supervisor.

According to Sarkar, the application of AI in Clarabut’s research is focused on addressing the “overfitting problem and uncertainty quantification” in machine learning algorithms. Clarabut’s research aims to study the robustness of such algorithms. Sarkar had nothing but high praise for Clarabut’s work. “David is an outstanding student whose undergraduate research is already published in an authoritative journal in the field.”

Clarabut’s research in AI will contribute to developing effective models of (a) aircraft wing vibration using wind-tunnel test data and (b) infectious disease spread using public health and cellphone mobility data.

The Vector Scholarship win surprised Clarabut.

“It was really a big surprise as it was in my original assumption that the scholarship was made for computer science students who have a very focused AI-related topic for research,” says Clarabut.

In the future, Clarabut hopes to pursue a career in research and development, “no matter whether or not it’s academia or industry.”

The Vector Scholarship in AI will help ease the financial burden on both students and allow them to focus on their research.

Thursday, August 24, 2023 in ,
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