Sometimes opportunities simply fall into your lap. Maybe we need to be prepared for them; maybe they just surprise us.
Recently I was appointed to two research positions: Visiting Scholar (2019-2020) at the Collaboratory of the Ryerson University Library and Postgraduate Affiliate (2019-2121) at the Vector Institute. In both cases I’m amazed and delighted.
Thanks to the generosity and support of Carol Shepstone and Fangmin Wang at the Ryerson Library, I’ve been given the opportunity to advance various AI/ML initiatives at the Library and within the larger Ryerson community.
I’ll be working with Library staff to raise awareness about AI and to nurture library-based AI pilot projects. Through the Collaboratory, I’ll be working on interdisciplinary AI initiatives (events, workshops, panels) that bring together faculty and graduate students from across campus. This includes a major evolving project on AI/algorithmic literacy (more, hopefully much more, on this later). It has been gratifying to meet to many talented and innovative folks from the Ryerson community and to be able to collaborate with them on these initiatives.
Being accepted as a Vector Postgraduate Affiliate was quite unexpected (the acceptance rate was ~8%) . The Vector Institute is one of three national AL/ML research incubators. Its members (faculty, graduate students, industry partners) are at the leading edge of this field. These are extraordinary folks, deeply engaged in the core challenges of ML.
I believe I was accepted because my library/information science/social science background brings a different perspective on ML to the Vector community. My interests in autonomous/machine information behaviour, explainable AI (XAI), and algorithmic literacy are social as well as technical. It’s early days for me at Vector but I’m thrilled to be there and looking forward to what I can learn and how I can contribute.
So, the opportunities have arrived. Now to capitalize on them.