The Cutting Edge of Artificial Intelligence


Date Thursday February 22nd 2018

5:00-6:30pm (5:00-6:00 presentation and Q&A, followed by networking until 6:30)

Venue George E. Pake Auditorium, PARC

PARC Forum

When we think about the future, we need to think deeply about Artificial Intelligence (AI). Historically, the world has been able to advance new and unknown science and technologies. Is AI in a different category, or can we trust that the experts are making good progress and that there are checks and balances integrated into the “system” to avoid singularity? Come hear the world’s AI experts discuss the latest in human-machine collaboration and new forms of Human Computer Interfaces, how AI can learn faster, more accurately and from fewer examples, how we are building explainable and transparent AI, and how we are thinking about smart reasoning being designed “at the edge.”

There are many topics to discuss: Not long ago, AI was considered taboo; now everything is called AI; What is the difference between AI, automation, machine learning, and deep learning? When does an algorithm become an AI algorithm? China is ahead of the US in number of AI papers published, of AI scientists, and official government commitment; what is the danger? Can AI win a Nobel Prize for a scientific discovery or in literature?


Margareta Ackerman is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Engineering at Santa Clara University, specializing in Machine Learning, spanning from foundations to emerging applications in computational creativity. Margareta earned her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University Waterloo and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Caltech and UC San Diego. Margarita received six years of vocal training, focusing on opera, where her work on computational creativity benefits from extensive artistic training. 

Andra Keay is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics, a non-profit industry group supporting innovation and commercialization of robotics technologies. She is also founder of the Robot Launch global startup competition and a mentor, investor and advisor to startups, accelerators and think tanks, with a strong interest in commercializing socially positive robotics and AI. Andra cofounded Robohub, the global robotics research news site, building on her background in film, television and media production, internet and computing technologies, with degrees in Interaction, Communication and Human/Robot Cultural Studies. She also cofounded Robot Garden, a robotics makerspace, and teaches Interaction Design and Theory. Andra has a particular interest in understanding diversity and representation in robotics and AI, and started the Women in Robotics community.

Tolga Kurtoglu is CEO of PARC, a Xerox company, which is in “the business of breakthroughs.” Practicing open innovation since being incorporated in 2002, PARC provides custom R&D services, technology, specialized expertise, best practices, and intellectual property to Xerox’s business groups, Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, startups, and government. Dr. Kurtoglu oversees PARC’s R&D investments for Xerox and its innovation portfolio for commercial clients and government agencies in a diverse set of focus areas and competencies including human-centered innovation services, intelligent agents and systems, clean energy, smart packaging, machine learning and analytics, security and privacy, printed electronics and digital manufacturing. 

Piero Scaruffi is an amateur human being and professional free thinker. He graduated in Mathematics (summa cum laude) in 1982 from University of Turin, where he did work in General Theory of Relativity. For a number of years he was the founding director of the Artificial Intelligence Center at Olivetti, based in Cupertino, California, and later joined IntelliCorp, one of the earliest companies specializing in Artificial Intelligence. He has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University and Stanford University conducting research on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science, has lectured in three continents on “The Nature of Mind”, and “History of Knowledge” (most recently at U.C. Berkeley), and has published a number of books, including “History of Silicon Valley” — his bestseller in China, as well as hundreds of articles for magazines both in Italy and the US. Piero is the founder of the Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASERs),that take place in more than 30 universities worldwide, and of the Life ArtScience Tech (LAST) festival.

Allen Saakyan is a polymath and science communicator hosting the worlds most thought-provoking conversations with global leaders.

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