Prof Vincent Wade to step down as director of SFI’s Adapt Centre

21 Nov 2022

Prof Vincent Wade. Image: SFI

Prof Dave Lewis has been named interim director of the research centre until a permanent replacement for Wade has been found.

The board of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has confirmed that Prof Vincent Wade is leaving his role as director of the Adapt Centre to focus on a more research-oriented career.

Wade is the founding director of Adapt, the research centre for AI-driven digital content technology, and has led it for 12 years.

In 2020, he spoke at Silicon Republic’s Future Human event about the work Adapt does around human-centric AI and how the tech can be misused in the wrong hands.

Prof Dave Lewis will step into the position of interim director until the SFI board has found a permanent replacement for Wade. Recruitment for this role will begin in the next few weeks.

Lewis has served in senior research leadership roles and has been head of the AI discipline at the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) since 2018. He has been deputy director of Adapt since 2016, a job that involves leading its programme of industry collaborative research.

Lewis’s research focuses on open models for trustworthy AI and data governance. He leads an international multidisciplinary PhD network in this area and contributes to international standards.

“We owe a big debt of thanks to Prof Vinny Wade for his leadership in building Adapt into the excellent, internationally renowned research centre and fabulously welcoming the community of collaborators that it is today,” Lewis said.

“I look forward to developing those collaborative relationships further, ready for the exciting opportunities in human-centric AI research that await Adapt and the new chair.”

TCD provost Dr Linda Doyle also thanked Wade for “the fantastic leadership he has provided to the Adapt Centre, which Trinity is so proud to host”.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.