2021 . 11 . 22

International AI Doctoral Academy (AIDA)

Author: Prof. Pitas Ioannis (The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – AUTH)

The four ICT-48 networks (AI4Media, ELISE, HumanE-AI NET, TAILOR) and the VISION project joined forces and, under the joint initiative of AI4Media and VISION, founded a new joint instrument to support a world-level AI education and research programme.

The International AI Doctoral Academy (AIDA) has been created for offering access to knowledge and expertise and attracting Ph.D. talents in Europe. AIDA was very successfully launched on 3/11/2021. It has now 67 top AI Members (a very good mix of 50 excellent European Universities and 17 Research Institutes and Companies). AIDA is the first academy of its kind in Europe and internationally.

AIDA membership is excellent, its scope is pan-European/international and its aims are high to become a world reference for AI Ph.D. studies.

It is very important that 67 leading European AI partners joined efforts with the 5 Horizon Europe ICT48 AI flagship projects to foster Ph.D. education excellence in AI. This effort has strong momentum, as manifested by the 14 new Members that joined AIDA in the last 3 months. Therefore, AIDA can indeed attain a critical mass to have a large impact on AI academic education, industry workforce upskilling and in addressing very important social challenges, which range from the fight against disinformation to the provision of a human-centered and trustworthy AI that serves not only European citizens, but the humanity in general.

AIDA can also ensure European strategic autonomy in such critical technology like AI, with huge potential socio-economic impact and to reinforce Europe’s assets in AI, by benefiting its world-class researcher community, so that it stays at the forefront of AI developments. It can form a common AI resource center and become a shared facility offering access to knowledge and expertise and attracting talented researchers. It indeed aims high at becoming a world reference point, creating an easy entry point to AI excellence in Europe. AIDA is coordinated by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece that is proudly named after Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher that founded Logic and Ethics, which both are at the core of AI.

Therefore, AIDA can boost a much-needed link between AI and humanities towards creating an anthropocentric (human-centered) European brand of AI that serves citizens worldwide. AIDA will also build a much-needed educational momentum to cater to the ever-growing societal and industrial needs towards building a strong, rich, human-centric and democratic Europe.