Addressing the opportunities and risks of artificial intelligence


People with disabilities experience both the greatest opportunities and the greatest risks of artificial intelligence (AI). AI, in mechanizing statistical reasoning, performs best when processing situations and people that are statistical averages. How do we take advantage of the power tools of AI while preventing the potential harms? How can we ensure that people with disabilities can participate in the AI-altered economy and workplace? This webinar discussed emerging regulatory standards and efforts to train AI to serve individual differences.

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Jutta Treviranus is Director of the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) and Professor in the Faculty of Design at OCAD University. She co-leads IDEA’s Hub 5, Disruptive Technologies and the Future of Work. Treviranus established IDRC in 1993. IDRC is a growing global community of open-source developers, designers, researchers, educators and co-designers who work together to proactively ensure that emerging technology and practices are designed inclusively. IDRC helped establish the Web Accessibility Initiative at the W3C, writing early web accessibility guidelines, and working to make the first HTML editor accessible. Over the years, IDRC’s focus has included e-learning tools, virtual and extended reality, mobile systems, cooperative platforms, social media, smart cities, internet-of-things technologies, coding practices, artificial intelligence, virtual health, financial systems and many other systems. Treviranus is credited with developing an inclusive design methodology that has been adopted by large enterprises such as Microsoft, as well as public-sector organizations internationally. She also founded an innovate graduate program in inclusive design at OCAD University.


Dr. Emile Tompa, Senior Scientist at the Institute for Work & Health (IWH), Executive Director of IDEA, and Co-Lead of the IDEA Incubator Hub on Workplace Systems and Partnerships. Rebecca Gewurtz, Associate Professor, McMaster University, Director of IDEA, and Adjunct Scientist, IWH.

About the IDEA Speaker Series

The IDEA Speaker Series provides an opportunity to hear guest speakers talk about their efforts to create stronger and more diverse labour markets that include persons with disabilities.

Jutta Treviranus