Hawai'i State News

$17M grant to improve AI through Indigenous knowledge includes UH teams

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Create(x) Co-Director Kari Noe shows program to teach the first few lines of the Kumulipo. Photo Courtesy: University of Hawai‘i

An international group of researchers and Indigenous practitioners – including members of the University of Hawai‘i – has been awarded a $17 million (in U.S. dollars) grant from Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund to work on improving artificial intelligence through Indigenous knowledge.

The project, “Abundant Intelligences: Expanding Artificial Intelligence through Indigenous Knowledge Systems,” is Indigenous-led and involves 37 co-investigators and collaborators from eight universities and 12 Indigenous community-based organizations from Canada, the United States and New Zealand.

Co-applicants for the grant from the University of Hawai‘i included:

  • UH Director of Indigenous Innovation Kamuela Enos
  • UH Mānoa Professor Jason Leigh, Information and Computer Sciences
  • UH Manoa Assistant Professor Bryan Kuwada, Hawaiian Studies
  • UH Manoa Assistant Professor Susan Crow, Natural Resources and Environmental Management
  • UH West O’ahu Konohiki (facilitator) of Kūlana o Kapolei Manulani Meyer

The teams will coalesce in locally rooted “pods” to collaborate with Indigenous communities. In this way, each team will learn from, and alongside, Indigenous knowledge keepers to bring novel perspectives to transforming AI.

The Hawaiʻi pod will be based at the UH West Oʻahu’s Create(x) digital emerging media lab. Jason Leigh and Kari Noe are the co-directors of Create(x).

The grant is for six years.


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