November 5, 2021

HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, together with Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) and Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (HR), has been awarded a SPRONG grant to build the infrastructure for a powerful research group. A group recognised at regional and national level as the top centre for practice-based research in the field of Responsible Applied AI. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is developing at a rapid pace with far-reaching implications for the whole of society (all sectors, professions and citizens). Although AI offers new opportunities for institutions, SMEs and the business sector in general, at the same time it raises many questions.

For instance, there is a demand for research methods to facilitate the meaningful implementation of AI technology in a specific context (such as retail and healthcare), with consideration for the user and other stakeholders. There are also questions about the design process for AI solutions: how can this be done while also taking into account ethical and social issues?

Methodology for Applied AI
Current AI research is often basic and focuses on technology. As a result, it has thus far provided little in the way of answers to the above questions. The three universities of applied sciences in the SPRONG group carry out practice-based research into responsible AI solutions for businesses and institutions. The SPRONG group plans to use this research experience and these research results to develop a Responsible Applied AI methodology to facilitate the design, development and implementation of responsible AI solutions.

Co-creation in hybrid environments
The development of this methodology relies on knowledge accumulation and sharing, which the universities of applied sciences are developing together with businesses and organisations. The starting point for the process is the continued development of three hybrid learning environments around the application areas: retail, professional services and media. AI developers, problem owners, end users, researchers and students are working together in these areas.

The aim is to develop practical tools, instruments, education and training from the learning environment that can be widely used for the application of AI in the relevant sector. Each learning environment is linked to specific courses from the participating universities of applied sciences and representatives of the professional field who contribute to the programme. The number of application areas will be expanded during the SPRONG programme and scaled up nationwide where possible.

Supporting infrastructure
Supporting infrastructure is being developed further at a central level, which includes processes and facilities for data management and strategic HR management, an IT infrastructure, training and an impact model.

Bron: HU University of Applied Science Utrecht