Intercontinental Academia edition on intelligence and artificial intelligence starts on June 13

Logo da 4th Intercontinental Academia

"Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence" is the theme of the fourth edition of the Intercontinental Academia (ICA 4), which will have its opening sessions virtually held from June 13 to 18. The face-to-face sessions will take place next October in Paris and in June 2022 in Belo Horizonte.

The ICA is a project by UBIAS, an international network of institutes for advanced study linked to universities. Each edition is hosted by two institutes from different continents. ICA 4 has been organized by the Institute of Advanced Transdisciplinary Studies (IEAT) at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and the Paris Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), a member of the French Network of Institutes for Advanced Studies (RFIEA).

Since implementing the project in 2015, the objective of UBIAS has been to create global networks of future research leaders to work together on paradigm shifts and transdisciplinary research under the mentorship of eminent researchers from around the world.

According to the ICA 4 organizers, the edition will explore key interdisciplinary issues at the intersection of cognitive science, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence (AI). By highlighting the importance of the topic, they point out that decisive advancements have taken place in recent decades regarding the analysis of brain activity and its behavioral counterpart, as well as the information processing sciences. "Complementarities between neuroscience/cognitive science and AI make it possible to explore synergies and raise ethical issues between these disciplines, which involve enormous challenges and opportunities for societal progress."


ICA 1 was held in 2015/16 and its theme was "Time." The hosts were the IEA and the Institute for Advanced Research at Nagoya University (IAR). From the debates of the edition, the participants produced the massive open online course Off the Clock: The Many Faces of Time, available on the Coursera platform.

"Human Dignity" was the theme of the second edition in 2016. The organizers for the initiative were the Center for Interdisciplinary Research at Bielefeld University and the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

ICA 3 took place in 2018/19 and addressed the theme "Laws: Rigidity and Dynamics." The organizers were the Institute of Advanced Studies at the Nanyang Technological University and the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Birmingham.

In parallel to the second face-to-face session, scheduled for June 2022, a "satellite session" will be held at UFMG, with conferences and roundtables, and the participation of ICA 4 mentors and other guests from academia and the industry. There will be live streaming over the internet. Some of the topics covered in this session will be: "Fundamentals and Ethics of AI," "Intelligence and Rationality," "Cognition and Neurosciences," "Interdisciplinary Explorations of AI," and "AI and Health Sciences."


19 researchers working in universities and research institutes in Brazil, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Poland, United States, Japan, South Africa, Israel, and the Netherlands have been chosen out of the 60 candidates to participate in ICA 4 (23 of them Brazilians). The research areas of those selected include mathematics, computing, engineering, law, philosophy, linguistics, neuroscience, and history.


The participants will have the support of 17 mentors, all renowned researchers with worldwide recognition in various scientific areas, philosophy, and arts. Among them are molecular biologist Ada Yonath, from the Weizmann Institute, winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, economist Robert Aumann, winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Economics and a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, astrophysicist and cosmologist Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and co-founder of the The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at Cambridge University, neurologist and neuroscientist António Damásio, a specialist in the mental processes underlying emotions, feelings, and consciousness, computer scientist Timnit Gebru, co-founder of Black in AI, a support organization for black AI researchers and professionals, and one of the former leaders of Google's ethical artificial intelligence research team, and artist Zaven Paré, dedicated to new media and robotics, and a contributor to the Postgraduate Program in Arts, Culture, and Languages ​​at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora.

The coordinators of ICA 4 are Guilherme Ary Plonski, director of the IEA and former coordinator of UBIAS, Estevam Barbosa de Las Casas, director of the IEAT, Eliezer Rabinovici, a professor at The Racah Institute of Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and proponent of the Intercontinental Academia project, and Olivier Bouin, director of the RFIEA and new coordinator of UBIAS.

Photos: Intercontinental Academia

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