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CS/Stat Prof. Neville talks machine learning's role in tech boom at 'Dawn or Doom' symposium


Will artificial intelligence and the rest of the technology boom send humanity to unprecedented quality of life or will it spell the end of our species?

This was a major question posed at the Dawn or Doom symposium, which culminated Sept. 18 on Purdue campus after a few days of science fiction movie screenings (“Jurassic Park,” “AI,” “Transcendence”) and talks that show the marvels and horrors of technological progress.

On Sept. 18, Stewart Center and Krannert hosted several guest speakers as well as an array of faculty whose expertise is in Dawn or Doom concerns.

Prof. Jennifer Neville, who shares appointments in the departments of Statistics and Computer Science, was one of the first speakers on the Loeb Playhouse stage. With about 200 in attendance, her talk, “Are We Too Smart for Our Own Good: How Large-Scale Machine Learning Systems Can Vastly Exceed Human Level Decision Making Abilities,” focused on how machine learning helps humans in everyday work, from sorting out spam email to helping you decide what to stream on Netflix. Neville explained the history and usefulness of machine learning. She also discussed recent triumphs in her field, but Neville reminded her audience there is still plenty of work to be done.

Joining Neville on-stage was Ryan Robinson, a Chicago artist from the Ink Factory Studio. He illustrated Neville's key points on the fily to help reinforce the ideas and concepts.

Prof. Jennifer Neville at Dawn or Doom symposium

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