DawsCon, A.I. workshops and Data Journalism challenge this weekend


On Friday, March 24, Dawson College will be hosting a free conference for educators and industry, and a subsequent weekend Data Journalism Challenge (March 25-26) aimed at students of any background.

Attendees will be exposed to a wide range of AI topics from challenges of ChatGPT in education to ethics and bias to data manipulation and machine learning, to opportunities for faculty research and student internships.

Presentations will be given by Dawson students, alumni and faculty from the AI Community of Practice as well as partner organizations, external researchers and industry professionals.

More info here: https://www.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/dawscon/

Register here: https://www.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/dawscon/registration2023/

To bring a class: contact Joel Trudeau

For curated items of interest to faculty and students on Friday, March 24:

DawsCon activities of interest to faculty & classes of students on Friday, March 24:

 1:00 to 2:15 p.m. in 5B.16

Keynote: Hugo Larochelle, Research Scientist at Google Brain and lead of the Montreal Google Brain team

Deep Learning – A Revolution in Artificial Intelligence
The past few years have seen the science of Artificial Intelligence (AI) make tremendous progress, leading to transformative technologies that have given unprecedented abilities to our phones and computers. This development was made possible thanks to deep learning, a branch of AI that is rooted in an inspiration from the human brain. In this talk, I’ll present my experience in observing and participating in the rise of deep learning, describe its Canadian roots, highlight its implications as a technology with broad use today and share my thoughts on what we might expect next from this exciting area of AI.

8:30 to 9:30 a.m. in 5B.16

Elham Kheradmand — AI For Social Good

This talk explores the concept of social good and how it aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It examines how AI can be used as a tool to achieve these goals and make a positive impact on society. The presentation highlights several projects, including one that focuses on the application of AI for climate change and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. The talk showcases how AI is being used to tackle climate change and promote sustainable practices, as well as how it is helping companies measure their ESG performance. Overall, the talk emphasizes the potential of AI to make a real difference in people’s lives and the importance of using technology for social good. The audience will be encouraged to think about how they can apply AI and other emerging technologies to address social challenges and create a better world for all.

  1. Interactive sessions of interest to faculty:

10:15-11:00 a.m in 3F.43 Colab

Nick Gertler (Dawson Cin|Com alum) Beyond the Questionnaire: An Algorithmic Impact Assessment for Education (interactive session)

Canada has branded itself as a leader in algorithmic impact assessment (AIA). It is one of the first countries to actually use AIAs in government, and in doing so it has developed an open-source AIA. In this workshop, we’ll be building on the promise of an open-source AIA—working with the tool as a platform rather than a specific policy instrument.

Using a hackathon format, participants will work in small groups to prototype new uses and alternative visions for Canada’s AIA. We will consider how this tool might be repurposed and recoded, with a particular focus on how it might be adapted for use in an educational context.

2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in 3F.38

DawsonAI AI Teaching CoP led by Robert Stephens — ChatGPT Workshop and Roundtable

With all the media hype about how A.I. text generation systems such as ChatGPT are ushering in a new era of rampant student plagiarism and possibly the “end of homework”, many educators are wondering if they need to radically reshape their methods. In this workshop, members of the DawsonA.I. Community of Practice will demonstrate how text generation can be engaged proactively in the classroom, and how to best manage the academic integrity challenges it poses. The session will be interactive and include hands-on activities followed by an open-ended discussion on challenges and opportunities for teaching and learning.

You might also be interested in some of the research-oriented sessions:

15:00-15:30 [3F.43]  Bessam Abdulrazak — From IoT to Applied AI for Well-being and Healthy Aging

15:30-16:00 [3F.43] Mitacs Research Opportunities at the College Level

16:00-17:00 [3F.43] Applied AI Student Institute Internships: Updates

The DawsCon program abstracts can be found here:


Last Modified: March 22, 2023