Our Mission

CAIDAC strives to be a place of innovation: a hub for individuals with different skill sets and backgrounds to address consequential problems they could not attempt alone. We appreciate unusual perspectives, desire to change the world (for the better), and humility.

Our Story

Social media platforms have transformed civil war. But the methods and tools researchers have available to them to study conflict have not undergone a similar revolution. So we created CAIDAC to pioneer the AI tools necessary to analyze armed groups' use of social media and study how it is changing violence, political discourse, and democracy.

 

The idea of CAIDAC and its mission was born from our experience living in communities affected by violence and civil war. We watched as social media transformed how armed groups recruited, fundraised and terrorized global audiences in ways unimaginable only a few years ago. In Syria, for example, we have tracked more hours of video uploaded to social media platforms than there have been hours in the conflict. Cumulatively, social media posts create an expansive and almost real-time record of online and real-world events.

 

CAIDAC was co-founded at the University of Regina and University of Alberta by Laura Courchesne, Denilson Barbosa, and Brian McQuinn.

CAIDAC embraces convergence research: solving "wicked" or complex problems by "integrating knowledge, methods, and expertise from different disciplines and forming novel frameworks to catalyze scientific discovery and innovation."

 

At the center of CAIDAC's innovative approach is a human-in-the-loop AI system built around an unprecedented collaboration between AI scientists, armed conflict researchers, disinformation scientists, public health specialists, and scholars of indigenous and First Nation communities.

Convergence
Research