Visual of a head with a cog turning inside to represent artificial intelligence

Institute of Advanced Studies announces annual Theme for 2021/22

Loughborough University’s Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) is delighted to announce AI: Facts, Fictions, Futures as their annual Theme for 2021/22.

IAS annual Themes run across the academic year, bringing leading international researchers to the University to work with colleagues in areas of established and emergent research excellence, catalysed by the Theme.

AI: Facts, Fictions, Futures will be led by:

  • Professor Jin Xuan, from the School of Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering
  • Dr Lise Jaillant, from the School of Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Professor Qinggang Meng, from the School of Science
  • Dr Amalia Sabiescu, from Loughborough University London
  • Professor Andrew Morris, from the School of Design and Creative Arts
  • Professor Mohammed Quddus, from the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering.

The Theme will examine interdisciplinary applications of AI alongside its social impact and consequences. Whilst the development of AI itself is largely computer science-based, its real-world application is a truly interdisciplinary topic.

The expansion of AI applications in recent years has revealed both its positive and negative effects. While increased use of AI can bring major economic, social and cultural benefits - and AI technology will play an even greater role in the post-pandemic cultural and economic climate - its adverse consequences are already being predicted and new policies and laws are being designed in its wake.

Through an exciting programme, which will bring globally leading researchers to Loughborough, AI: Facts, Fictions, Futures will explore the dynamic terrain of AI in contemporary life.

Theme Leads, Professor Jin Xuan and Dr Lise Jaillant commented: “We are very excited to lead the upcoming IAS Theme and really look forward to bringing together AI computer scientists, engineers, natural scientists, social scientists, humanities researchers, designers, and artists within Loughborough, as well as around the world to address cross-cutting elements of AI and their applications and solve challenges difficult to address by researchers within single disciplines. Everyone will be welcome to our events, whatever their disciplinary backgrounds and career level.”

Professor Marsha Meskimmon, Director of the IAS, added: ‘This Theme bridges both disciplinary divides and the sometimes unhelpful distinctions between academic theory and the practices that constitute our daily lives. It has something to offer everyone and we look forward to welcoming colleagues from across the breadth of the University through the Theme’s programme of events.”

A series of community engagements events at the IAS in May and June will offer colleagues across both campuses opportunities to become involved with the plans for the Theme. Further information will be posted here.