25th May 2021 - 3pm - Justine Cassell: Seminar
TITLE: MACHINES THAT AMPLIFY OUR BEST SELVES
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has implications for almost every aspect of our lives. However, the fears that it has evoked sometimes seem to outweigh the possibilities. Fears about the future of work and the future of social interaction seem to weigh most heavily. Much of what we have seen in AI until now, though, has been built based on data from humans carrying out collaborative tasks of one sort or another, and has ignored key aspects of the social interactions that happen before, during, and after those tasks. In honor of Jon's interest in building machines to address loneliness and other social ills, this talk will describe some unexpected results about the ways in which social interaction supports and improves task performance in people, and how social interaction can profitably be integrated into AI, with implications for the future of AI, the future of work, and the future of social interaction.
Justine Cassell is currently on leave from Carnegie Mellon University, where she is the Dean's Professor of Language Technologies in the School of Computer Science, to hold a chair at the PRAIRIE Paris Institute on Interdisciplinary Research in AI, and an associated position as a researcher at INRIA Paris. In January 2021, Cassell was named a member of the 21 person French governmental
commission CNNUM (Conseil National du Numérique) - the Council on the Future of Digital. Prior to CMU, Cassell was the founding director of the Center for Technology and Social Behavior at Northwestern University. Before that she held a tenured associate professor appointment at the MIT Media Lab. Cassell won the Edgerton prize at MIT in 2001, the Anita Borg Institute Women of Vision award in 2008, became a fellow of both the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the ACM in 2016, and was awarded the National Academy of Sciences Henry and David Bryna David award in 2018.