NWO Science Award for IDE researchers working on Diversity and Inclusion in Embodied AI

News - 01 December 2022 - Communication

On 1 December 2022, TU Delft | Industrial Design Engineering researchers, Nazli Cila, Gijs Huisman and Maria Luce Lupetti, together with colleagues from the 4TU Federation, who together form the a research collective DEI4EAI, have been granted the NWO Diversity Initiative Award, winning €50,000 to spend on their research.

DEI4EAI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Embodied AI) is a research collective that focuses on the development, evaluation and policy of embodied AI and that fosters a diverse and inclusive culture. The collective uses a transdisciplinary approach, working across disciplines and cooperating with all the relevant stakeholders to define a desirable future.

The NWO jury was impressed by the high degree of diversity of the collective and the original approach to the problems of unintentional prejudice in AI applications. It commended the ways in which the collective is reaching a wide audience and the fact that the initiative is oriented not only to research but also to education.

Following a series of workshops on the topics of gender, race, ableism and methods which took place in 2021 and 2022, the collective recently created a publication, “Diversity Equity And Inclusion In Embodied AI: Reflecting On And Re-Imagining Our Future With Embodied AI”.

This brings together their findings and paves the way  for the challenge ahead. In the words of Assistant Professor, Maria Luce Lupetti: “Designing for diversity, equity and inclusion is a complex challenge that requires existing approaches and methods to be revised. Yet, a lot can and should be done. We, as designers, must respond to this challenge, being humble; being ready to provide others with platforms to tell their story, and collectively challenge the idea that there is one normal way of being.”