UCC professor named deputy president of world’s largest AI body

5 Sep 2016

Pictured: Professor Barry O'Sullivan

The world’s largest artificial intelligence body, the European Association for Artificial Intelligence (EurAI), has appointed UCC’s Prof Barry O’Sullivan as its deputy president.

Professor O’Sullivan is director for the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, and UCC’s chair of Constraint Programming.

He leads Insight’s research group on optimisation and decision analytics, and is responsible for Insight’s strategic engagement in European initiatives, such as Horizon 2020.

Professor O’Sullivan has been involved in winning over €140 million in research funding, of which approximately €25 million has directly supported his research activities at UCC.

Need to debate the future impact of AI

EurAI has more than 4,500 members across more than 30 countries, making it the largest AI organisation in the world. The primary objective of the association is to promote research in, and study of, artificial intelligence, as well as representing the AI community externally.

“The association needs to step up its game in terms of how it represents the artificial intelligence community in Europe,” Prof O’Sullivan said.

“For example, we need to actively contribute to and inform the ongoing debate about the future impact of AI, the responsibilities that the technology brings with it, and the many ethical issues that it raises.

“We also need to engage very directly with European policy-makers so that the quiet position of strength that Europe has in AI is developed and exploited to the benefit of its citizens.

“For example, there are huge opportunities for major corporate investment in AI-focused industrial R&D labs in Europe which we are currently missing. EurAI has a role to play in creating an awareness of the consequences of not fully benefitting from Europe’s strength in artificial intelligence,” Prof O’Sullivan said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years