Launch Event: McGill Collaborative for AI & Society (McCAIS)

Monday, December 4, 2023 14:00to18:00
Faculty Club 3450 rue McTavish, Montreal, QC, H3A 0E5, CA

The Faculty of Science's Computational and Data Systems Initiative (CDSI) is excited to announce the initial launch event for a new McGill Collaborative for AI & Society (McCAIS). The event will be facilitated by Dr. Golnoosh Farnadi, McCAIS Co-director, with introductions by CDSI Director Eric D. Kolaczyk and Faculty of Science Dean Bruce Lennox. Food & Beverages will be served, with a cocktail hour at the end.

Event Date: Monday, December 4th 2023 from 2 PM to 6 PM. Doors open at 1:30 PM.


1:30 PM to 2:00 PM - Guest Arrival & Registration Confirmation

2:00 PM to 2:30 PM - Event Introductions: Welcome & McCAIS Overview 

2:30 PM to 3:15 PM - Presentation Part 1: Research - Lightning Talks & Discussion 

3:15 PM to 3:30 PM - Break

3:30 PM to 4:30 PM - Presentation Part 2: Education - Lightning Talks & Discussion 

4:30 PM to 5:00 PM - Event Conclusion: Synthesis & Next steps 

5:00 PM to 6:00 PM - Cocktail Hour Mixer 

LocationMcGill Faculty Club and Conference Centre, 3450 Mc Tavish St, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1X9

Registration: Space is limited for this event. To guarantee your seat, please register here.


  • Why McCAIS? The interface where rapid AI development meets societal structures, mechanisms and norms is both filled with potential and fraught with concerns. Successfully navigating this interface arguably is one of the greatest challenges we face today. McGill University has tremendous strengths in many aspects of AI and already is contributing – and often leading – in this space in many ways. The McCAIS mission is to facilitate strategic integration of these various distributed strengths around the AI/Society interface at McGill, in both research and education. And, in doing so, serve as a vehicle for increasing both impact and visibility of those strengths.


  • What is McCAIS? The “Collaborative” model is an opt-in model aimed at helping the McGill whole be even greater than the sum of the parts at the AI /Society interface – while at the same time allowing those various parts (whether at individual, departmental/center, or Faculty levels) the necessary flexibility to continue to lead, innovate, and inspire in their respective areas. This model is also intended to help McGill better partner collectively with major local, national, and global groups and organizations of similar interests. McCAIS will be hosted for the university community by the McGill Computational and Data Systems Initiative (CDSI) and, as such, supported by CDSI staff.


  • Where are we at with McCAIS planning and where are we heading? The McCAIS concept grew out of a six month long, deliberate scoping exercise, coordinated by the CDSI, that involved voices from domain area experts, leadership, and advancement, among others. Four pillars were identified for initial McCAIS focus: Thought Leadership, Research to Action, Experiential Learning, and Lifelong Learning. The next step in our planning is to hold the above-mentioned launch event for the McGill community, with the goals of eliciting a sense of common strengths and interests around these pillars and beginning to discuss structures and mechanisms for bringing energy and resources to bear on them.


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