SOAS to launch new Research Centre: The Centre of AI Futures
The SOAS Centre for AI Futures will launch on 25 January 2023. Sign up to attend the launch event on Wednesday 25 January 2023 at 6pm.
The Centre for AI Futures is global in its focus on the implications of AI in countries of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The new Centre brings together a network of academic institutions, policy organisations and the industry centred around two overarching themes: first, to rethink the production of knowledge on AI in a distinctively comparative and global setting; and second, to rethink the purposes of such production.
The Centre is strengthened by the theoretical, methodological and practical expertise of its’ global partners: Quilt.ai and the Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Helsinki (HSSH).
Dr Angad Chowdhry and Anurag Banerjee, co-founders of Quilt.ai, will deliver the inaugural lecture at the launch event: “Can AI and Anthropology work together: the possibilities and the problems.”
Dr Chowdhry, co-founder of Quilt.ai and former SOAS alumni, said:
"I am excited to collaborate with SOAS, where I was first taught critical theory and anthropology. Quilt.AI's core technology focuses on finding meaningful cultural perspectives inside millions of internet data points. This collaboration with SOAS and University of Helsinki opens up many possibilities for reflection and refinement, as technology evolves at breakneck speeds."
Dr Matti Pohjonen, (HSSH), a founder member of the Centre, said:
“This collaboration provides a unique opportunity for us to combine the methodological and theoretical expertise of Helsinki with unparalleled regional expertise of SOAS in Africa, Asia and the Middle East and state-of-the-art knowledge of AI by Quilt in contexts that matter.”
Somnath Batabyal, Co-chair of the SOAS Centre for AI Futures, said:
“On behalf of our Chairs, Prof Arshin Adib-Moghaddam and Dr Fabio Gygi, I am delighted to be able to announce the launch of the Centre for AI Futures. It is critical for SOAS to be at the forefront of technological innovations and to engage with the AI industry and other higher educational institutions on how AI is impacting our futures, especially in the Global South. SOAS's regional knowledge and focus makes us unique in how we can contextualise big data and its impacts and work towards a more equitable global future.”
To confirm your attendance, please fill out this Microsoft Form.
If you are unable to attend the launch in person, the event will be streamed via YouTube.
Quilt.AI is a technology firm aimed at enabling scale, understanding and empathy between organizations/ institutions and the billions of people on the planet. Companies including Amazon, Target, and DBS along with non-profits including the World Bank, UNICEF, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation leverage Quilt to better connect with their customers.
About the speakers
Anurag Banerjee is the co-founder and CEO of Quilt.AI – a technology firm aimed at enabling scale, understanding and empathy between organizations/ institutions and the billions of people on the planet. Companies including Amazon, Target, and DBS along with non-profits including the World Bank, UNICEF, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation leverage Quilt to better connect with their customers. His entrepreneurial journey started in 2012 and now includes scaling multiple startups to double-digit millions in revenue. This came after almost a decade at American Express in New York, in various global leadership positions across the business. Anurag is also a Member of the Technology Advisory Board at Children's Investment Fund Foundation and Venture Partner at NextGen Venture Partner. Anurag has a Master’s in Organizational Development from Bowling Green State University and is a Harvard Business School alumnus.
Dr Angad Chowdhry is the co-founder and head of product at Quilt.AI – a technology firm aimed at enabling scale understanding and empathy between organizations/ institutions and the billions of people on the planet. Companies including Amazon, Target, J&J and DBS along with Non-profits including the World Bank, UNICEF, Girl Effect and Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation leverage Quilt to better understand and connect with their customers. Angad has completed his PhD and MA from SOAS. His academic interests are critical anthropology, semiotics and psychoanalysis. He has co-edited a book on studying the media in India, published by Routledge. Post his PhD, he worked with policing and security research, finally finding his way into the formal Market Research industry. He started his entrepreneurial journey in 2011, focusing on building out India’s only digital cultural research and OSINT firm – using internet data to conduct cultural and corporate research. His AI area of focus is on fine-tuning language and image models to be anthropologically grounded and cross culturally sensitive. Quilt.AI has done research in almost every country and language.