Mila > Summer School in Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Human Rights

Summer School in Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Human Rights

A joint initiative of Mila and the Université de Montréal, the Summer School brings together participants from various backgrounds around the theme of responsible artificial intelligence and human rights.

Sessions cover, amongst others, responsible AI, AI governance, AI ethics, and legal aspects of AI. Participants will acquire both theoretical knowledge and practical skills that will enable them to better understand and navigate important issues at the intersection of responsible artificial intelligence and human rights.


→ WHAT: 5 days of intensive training, combining theory, skills training and application around the theme of responsible AI and human rights

→ WHERE: Mila – Quebec AI Institute, in person (see location)

→ WHO: Master and doctoral students, early-career researchers, professionals from the public, private or non-profit sectors from around the world
Prerequisites: Participants are expected to have AI-related expertise and/or work experience in relevant fields (STEM, or relevant legal, policy or social science fields)

→ WHEN: June 5 to 9, 2023

→ CAPACITY: The program is limited to 40 participants

→ LANGUAGE: The Summer School will be offered bilingually, with presentations and sessions in both English and French. Participants do not need to be fluent in both languages but basic proficiency in both is an asset. Course materials will be available in both French and English, and translation tools will be used to make the content accessible to all

The Summer School is equivalent to 40 hours of coursework, consisting of class time, social activities, preparing required readings, group and project work. A certificate of participation will be offered to all participants who successfully complete the Summer School.

The program

The Summer School is hosted by Mila and the Université de Montréal. Our instructors are renowned national and international experts with academic and/or practical experience working at the interface of responsible AI and human rights. The sessions and workshops offer a unique opportunity to:

  • Think about the ethical, political, social and legal issues raised by AI in various development and application environments;
  • Understand existing normative frameworks (Montreal Declaration, UNESCO Recommendation on the Ethics of AI, human rights framework, etc.) and their implications for responsible AI;
  • Explore the main issues facing society and organizations in the area of AI development and applications; 
  • Develop specific and essential skills, such as the ability to work in an interdisciplinary setting, to exercise leadership within teams, to mobilise and use scientific diplomacy, to navigate through the multidisciplinary, global and practical reality of responsible AI.


→ Skills training for achieving responsible AI in practice

→ Learning to navigate an interdisciplinary field

→ Understanding principles and frameworks for responsible AI and human rights

→ A strong focus on combining theoretical approaches with practical and applied learning

Learning activities

Each day of the Summer School will be dedicated to a specific topic: 

  • Responsible AI
  • AI governance
  • AI ethics
  • Legal aspects of AI
  • AI and human rights

In the morning sessions participants will learn about the relevant theoretical framework for the given topic and explore existing application and assessment tools. 

Afternoon sessions are devoted to hands-on workshops and experiential learning; students will participate in skills training workshops, practical activities, and engage in other active learning activities such as case studies.

Academic leadership

Catherine Régis, S.D.J.
Full Professor, Université de Montréal
Scientific Director, Summer School for Responsible AI

Guest speakers and collaborators

Gabriela Ramos

Assistant Director-General for the Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO

AJung Moon

Director of the McGill Responsible Autonomy & Intelligent System Ethics (RAISE) lab, McGill University

Lofred Madzou

Director of Strategy and Business Development, Truera

Virginia Dignum

Professor of Responsible AI at Umeå University, Sweden and director of WASP-HS

Maria Axente

Responsible AI & AI for Good Lead, PwC UK

Nicolas Miailhe

Co-Founder, The Future Society (TFS)

Karine Gentelet

Associate Professor, Social Sciences Department, Université du Québec

Nathalie Smuha

Legal Scholar and Philosopher, KU Leuven Faculty of Law

Shingai Manjengwa

Head of AI Education, ChainML

Mark Shaan

Senior Assistant Deputy Minister for Strategy & Innovation Policy at the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED)

Shalaleh Rismani

Ph.D. candidate, McGill University and Mila

Bernard Duhaime

Professor, Université du Québec à Montréal

Marc-Antoine Dilhac

Associate Professor, Université de Montréal, Canada CIFAR AI Chair

Benjamin Prud’homme

Executive Director, AI for Humanity, Mila

Anna Jahn

Director of Public Policy and Learning, AI for Humanity, Mila

Program costs

The summer school registration fees vary based on participant categories:

→ Masters and Doctoral students from UdeM and other BCI member universities: 150 CAD*

→ Masters and Doctoral international students: 300 CAD*

→ Post-docs and professionals from the public or non-profit sectors: 955 CAD*

→ Professionals from the private sector: 1255 CAD*

*Please note that the price presented here does not include fees associated with university credits for students from UdeM and members of the BCI network. 

The registration fee covers access to the program content, lunch during the five days of the program, and the opening and closing events. They do not cover accommodation and transportation, local and international.

Students wishing to receive credit for the course (such as students from the Université de Montréal and other Quebec institutions that are members of the BCI), will have to pass the evaluation at the end of the summer school, which represents a time investment of approximately 6 additional hours. It is the responsibility of students wishing to receive credit for the course to register with their TGDE (UdeM students) or the BCI (students from other Quebec universities) and to pay the related fees. 

International students or students from an institution outside Quebec who wish to do so will have the possibility of having the certificate awarded at the end of the summer school recognized by their educational institution and obtaining university credits, according to the terms and conditions provided by their institution.

Registration and selection process

*Registration for the Summer School in Responsible AI and Human Rights is now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted their application.*

Important: This is a two-step application process. You must fill out the application form, as well as send separately the three mandatory documents listed below to the following email address: Only then will your application be complete. 

  • Curriculum vitae 
  • Letter of interest (500 words max)
  • A letter of recommendation, including the signatory’s name, title and signature. A wide range of individuals besides your direct supervisor can act as signatories for your letter of recommendation, including professors, employers, managers, directors, collaborators, etc.

Since attendance is limited, applicants will be selected based on the excellence of their application. A reply will be sent to you around mid-February. A waiting list may be put in place until all available spots have been filled. If such is the case, you will be advised.

Financial support 

If you are selected, you will have the option of filing a request for financial support, if need be. A form to this effect will be sent to all selected applicants. Applications will be assessed in order to ensure fair distribution of financial resources among those who need it. Financial needs will be responded to promptly.

Financial support policy

In order to ensure the fairness of our initiative, to attract people from various backgrounds and to include their voices, we provide a limited number of scholarships to participants with a proven need for financial support. The scholarships are designed to support participants who would not otherwise be able to cover any or all of the costs of Summer School. The bursary can help the recipient cover various expenses related to his/her participation in the Summer School, such as the cost of the summer school ticket, accommodation, airfare and/or any other expenses deemed essential. Eligible participants may come from less developed countries, disadvantaged socioeconomic environments and/or marginalized communities. 

Due to the limited number of available scholarships, a letter explaining why you believe you are eligible for the coverage of your expenses must be provided to us following your admission. A form to this effect will follow shortly after the announcement of a successful application to the program. We encourage participants to include a detailed description of their situation and other forms of assistance or recognition they receive to support your application. Applicants should make sure to include an estimate of their summer school expenses to enable us to assess the needs of each applicant.

Individuals from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds are welcome at the summer school. Each participant in need of a visa will receive, upon request, a letter of invitation signed by Mila and the Université de Montréal. To find out if you need a visa or the approximate processing time based on your country of departure, click here. Finally, follow this link to find out what steps to take to apply for an entry visa into Canada.

Cancellation policy 

Mila and the Université de Montréal retain the right to cancel summer school due to an insufficient number of registrations. In that case, each registrant will be informed by email two weeks prior to the start of the event and will be refunded the total amount of the registration fees.

Cancellation policy

If the COVID-19 pandemic results in disruption to the organization (due to Federal and/or Provincial restrictions), summer school will be moved online and partial refunds equal to the fees that have been saved, will be issued to participants.

Registrants who are not authorized to travel on the start date of the summer school for any of the following reasons will receive a refund.

  • Visa not delivered on time (with proof of reasonable timeframes);
  • COVID-19-related restrictions in a country or a positive COVID-19 test.

Note: a dated proof document attesting to the inability to travel will be required.

Participant cancellations will be processed in the following manner:

  • 30 days before the event: participants will receive a full refund. 
  • 15 days before the event: participants will receive a 50% refund.

Any questions?

Please contact Solenne Savoia, Summer School Project Leader, at the following address:

Frequently asked questions

Is the summer school offered online?

The summer school is an in-person event. It is offered on premises only, in Montréal (Quebec, Canada). Only some material will be available online, before the summer school begins. 

When does the application period close?

The application period will run from the 1st of December 2022 until the 31st of January 2023, 8pm EST.

When can I expect a response?

Answers will be communicated from mid-february.

Is the summer school adequate for participants coming from a technical background?

Yes, the summer school intends to address its content from various perspectives, social and technical, and create a space of exchange between them.

Does the summer school require prior training in Law/Humanities/Social Sciences to attend?

The summer school does not require training in a set of specific fields of expertise. The summer school requires only that you have an expertise that is closely related to AI, whether you are from a law/humanities/social sciences background or a technical one. The important thing is that you have a strong interest in responsible AI and that you can gain from and contribute to the conversation on the various topics planned in the program.

Is the summer school open to international participants?

Yes. The summer school aims to be inclusive of various voices from different geographical and cultural backgrounds. Your application is more than welcome, wherever you are from!

Does the summer school offer any kind of recognition for the participants?

The summer school offers a certificate after the successful completion of the program.

Students wishing to receive credit for the course may also do so. Students from the Université of Montréal and other Quebec institutions that are members of the BCI will have to pass the evaluation at the end of the summer school, which represents a time investment of approximately 6 hours in addition to the 39 hours related to the programming and activities. In this case, the summer school is equivalent to a total of 45 hours of investment, giving rise to 3 university credits. It is the responsibility of students wishing to receive credit for the training to take the necessary steps to register with their TGDE (UdeM students) or the BCI (students from other Quebec universities) and to pay the related fees. 

International students or students from an institution outside Quebec who wish to do so will have the possibility of having the certificate awarded at the end of the summer school recognized by their educational institution and obtaining university credits, according to the terms and conditions provided by their institution.

What does the cost of the summer school cover?

The costs of the Summer School covers the program, meals during the program, as well as opening and closing events. The summer school does not cover transportation (local and international), nor does it cover your accommodation in Montréal.

Will I have to arrange accommodation, meals and transportation?

Regarding the meals, the price of the summer school covers coffee breaks, lunches, and meals during the opening and closing events. You will have to plan the remaining meals on your own. For accommodation and local (and international) transportation, you will have to cover those expenses. If you have any questions related to them and need help figuring out accommodation and transportation, our team will be more than happy to provide you with assistance, but the costs will remain yours to cover.

If I need a visa, how do I proceed?

If you know you that you’ll need a visa to come to Montréal to attend the summer school, you can follow this link to know all the steps you need to follow to get a visa from the Canadian government. You can also click here to get the estimated time for your visa request to be processed. You will need to let us know as soon as you can that you will need a visa, so we can send you a letter of invitation to the summer school, signed by both Mila and University of Montréal, to include in the documentation prior to submitting your visa request.

Do you offer financial support to help participants cover the costs of the summer school?

Yes, the summer school offers financial support to participants who wouldn’t be able to cover all or some expenses related to their participation to the program. Once successfully admitted, all the participants will receive an email to that regard. They will then have the opportunity to submit a request for financial support.

If I realize I can’t attend after having paid my participation fee, can I get a refund?

Yes, so long as you let us know in advance. Our policy on cancellation and refund requires you to notify us of your intention to withdraw your participation 30 days in advance for a full refund, and 15 days for a partial refund. The sooner you can let us know, the better, as approaching the date of the beginning of the program leaves us little room to offer the place to someone else. Please consult the appropriate section for further information on the matter.