International Perspectives: Multi-sited Research Methodologies

“AI is an emerging technology that has really had a significant economic impact, but that also contains a masculine overrepresentation in terms of who develops and who potentially benefits from these technologies.”

Eleonore Fournier-Tombs
Adjunct Professor, Civil Law Section, Faculty of Law
Director of the Inclusive Technology Lab, uOttawa

Since the spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed countless vulnerabilities across all domains of society, particularly in countries that were already suffering from humanitarian challenges. As nations around the world continue to seek to understand the pandemic and find ways to protect their most vulnerable citizens, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) has presented both interesting solutions and disturbing challenges. This video, which captures a presentation from the 4th Autumn School on the Methodology of Research in Law, explores the use of inclusive research methodologies to capture crucial international perspectives that can help to advance the pursuit of accountable AI.   

Adjunct Professor Eleonore Fournier-Tombs (Civil Law Section, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa) researches how technology relates to global inequalities, pluralism and deliberative democracy. Professor Céline Castets-Renard (Civil Law Section, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa), meanwhile, has a special interest in digital technologies and their impact, with a specific focus on AI and its regulation, including the legal and ethical challenges that arise as new technologies are developed. In this video, the two researchers discuss how they have conceptualized research methodologies allowing them to work and collect data from different international sites in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

More specifically, they explain how – as part of a broader project using artificial intelligence to trace the evolution of COVID-19 in Senegal and Mali – they developed new methodologies to efficiently collect data, while respecting the ethical, socio-political, cultural and legal issues specific to the use of advanced AI technologies in these regions.

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