Mark Stefik



Job: scientist
Mark Stefik is a PARC research fellow. His 2023 research focus is on multi-model bootstrapping of collaborative AIs. From 2018 to 2022 he was the principal investigator for PARC’s DARPA-funded Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) project, COGLE (COmmon Ground Learning and Explanation). COGLE’s autonomous agents fly unmanned aircraft systems in a simulated world to perform rescue and delivery missions. The agents learn from their performance using reinforcement learning and can explain their activities using common ground terminology. A goal of the project was to enable people and machines to work and learn collaboratively drawing on their mutual strengths. Previously Mark led the CitySight® project, which built an analytics and workflow recommendation system for urban traffic control and parking organizations. The CitySight project did the ethnography and technical research and built a proof-of-concept demonstration system. When this was well received by our customers, the project morphed. Working with an engineering team, marketing and sales, and an external software company, it developed and launched the CitySight product in 2016. The CitySight product now serves several major U.S. cities and is offered and operated by Conduent. Mark’s previous projects include personalized news, sense making systems, hardware and software for collaboration in electronic meetings, object-oriented programming systems, and knowledge systems. Mark contributed to several PARC spinouts. His digital property rights research laid the technical foundations for secure distribution for digital media including music, movies, books, and other things. Descriptions and. videos from past projects can be found on Mark has over 100 patents and 200 publications. He has authored five books, including Breakthrough! Stories and Strategies of Radical Innovation from The MIT Press. Dr. Stefik’s Ph.D. work at Stanford University was on experiment planning in molecular genetics. He is a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Mark and Barbara enjoy exploring and hiking. They have also written and illustrated two series of science fiction folktales for kids of all ages – The Oberlanders and The Sendroids – both available on Amazon.



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