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June 6 – Brent Harrison, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Kentucky

Posted on Jun 3, 2024

LEXINGTON, KY – The Rotary Club of Lexington held its weekly meeting on Thursday, June 6, at The Mane on Main, Chase Bank building on Main St. The guest speaker was Brent Harrison.

This meeting will also be on Zoom. For the Zoom link please email, [email protected].

If you would like to have lunch, please contact [email protected] to reserve your meal.

Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history.  Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks.” – Stephen Hawking

 AI will probably most likely lead to the end of the world, but in the meantime, there’ll be great companies.” – Sam Altman

 The pandora’s box of generative artificial intelligence (AI) is open, as we are reminded on a daily basis.  SAS notes on hits webpage that “AI works by combining large amounts of data with fast, iterative processing and intelligent algorithms, allowing the software to learn automatically from patterns or details in the data.”  So, which is AI to be:  the solution to all the world’s problems or the beginning of the descent into Dante’s circles of torment?

Today’s speaker, Brent Harrison, is here to discuss with us his take on AI in a presentation entitled “The Promises and Pitfalls of Artificial Intelligence: How Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Can Change the Work We Perform.”  Harrison is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Kentucky specializing in artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML). Specifically, he seeks to bridge the gap between intelligent systems and humans by creating systems that can better understand and communicate with human operators. To do this, his work combines elements of natural language processing, computer vision, social psychology, and many others. He is also interested in determining how to foster trust between humans and AI systems. To that end, he also researches topics related to explainable AI, instructable AI, and ethical/safe AI.

As an overview, he offers that over the last two years, there has been a staggering increase in the number of AI and ML systems available for public use. One could say that we are currently in the midst of a golden age of AI. While these tools are powerful and can change how we interface with technology, they are often misunderstood and misused. This is often because these tools are typically used as a black box in which users do not understand how the underlying ML or AI system is making decisions. In his talk, he will attempt to open up the black box to outline the potential that these tools have and outline some common mistakes that people make when using these tools.


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