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  • CS Distinguished Lecture: Ayanna Howard (Georgia Institute of Technology) - Hacking the Human Bias in the Robotics Machine

    Thu, Feb 04, 2021 @ 04:00 PM - 05:20 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Ayanna Howard, Georgia Institute of Technology

    Talk Title: Hacking the Human Bias in the Robotics Machine

    Series: Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series

    Abstract: People tend to overtrust sophisticated computing devices, including robotic systems. As these systems become more fully interactive with humans during the performance of day-to-day activities, the role of bias in these human-robot interaction scenarios must be more carefully investigated. Bias is a feature of human life that is intertwined, or used interchangeably, with many different names and labels -“ stereotypes, prejudice, implicit or subconsciously held beliefs. In the digital age, this bias has often been encoded in and can manifest itself through AI algorithms, which humans then take guidance from, resulting in the phenomenon of excessive trust. Trust conveys the concept that when interacting with intelligent systems, humans tend to exhibit similar behaviors as when interacting with other humans; thus, the concern is that people may under-appreciate or misunderstand the risk associated with handing over decisions to an intelligent agent. Bias further impacts this potential risk for trust, or overtrust, in that these systems are learning by mimicking our own thinking processes, inheriting our own implicit biases. Consequently, the propensity for trust and the potential of bias may have a direct impact on the overall quality of the interaction between humans and machines, whether the interaction is in the domains of healthcare, job-placement, or other high-impact life scenarios. In this talk, we will discuss this phenomenon of integrated trust and bias through the lens of intelligent systems that interact with people in scenarios that are realizable in the near-term.

    Register in advance for this webinar at:

    https://usc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_FtvySGKTReuCvZr_2cpAeQ

    After registering, attendees will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.


    Biography: Ayanna Howard, Ph.D. is the Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Professor and Chair of the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She also holds a faculty appointment in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and serves on the Board of Directors for the Partnership on AI and Autodesk. Dr. Howard's career focus is on intelligent technologies that must adapt to and function within a human-centered world. Her work, which encompasses advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), assistive technologies, and robotics, has resulted in over 250 peer-reviewed publications in a number of projects - from healthcare robots in the home to AI-powered STEM apps for children with diverse learning needs. To date, her unique accomplishments have been highlighted through a number of awards and articles, including highlights in USA Today, Upscale, and TIME Magazine, as well as being recognized as one of the 23 most powerful women engineers in the world by Business Insider and one of the Top 50 U.S. Women in Tech by Forbes. In 2013, she also founded Zyrobotics, which develops STEM educational products to engage children of all abilities. Prior to Georgia Tech, Dr. Howard was a Senior Robotics Researcher and Deputy Manager in the Office of the Chief Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She has also served as the Associate Director of Research for the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, Chair of the Robotics Ph.D. program, and the Associate Chair for Faculty Development in ECE at Georgia Tech.


    Host: Heather Culbertson

    Webcast: https://usc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_FtvySGKTReuCvZr_2cpAeQ

    Location: Online Zoom Webinar

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_FtvySGKTReuCvZr_2cpAeQ

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Computer Science Department

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