Roughly sixty years ago, a group of computing pioneers at a workshop in Dartmouth College coined the term “Artificial Intelligence” (AI) and prophesied that in the near future, the cognitive capabilities of computers would rival those of humans. After limited progress for decades, we now appear to be in the midst of an AI revolution — computers today routinely complete complex tasks with astonishing competence.
Search engines, in response to a user’s query, retrieve results from an unimaginably vast collection of webpages with the precision of a mind-reader, looking past spelling errors and vague phrasing. Retailers recommend films, music and books to us, with the keen insight of a close friend who has known us for years and understands our tastes. The best Chess and Go players in history are computer programs that mastered the games via extensive self-study.
Sophisticated software is now used to assist with medical diagnoses, vet credit card applications, design airline schedules, solve crossword puzzles, predict sports and election results, and drive cars on busy city roads. What are some of the key ideas that underpin these systems, and should we be worried about their proliferation? In this talk, we will explore these very questions, while gaining a deeper understanding of two classic algorithms from AI.
Speaker: Raghu Ramanujan-Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
Raghu Ramanujan got M.S., Ph.D at Cornell University and B.S. at Purdue University. “I joined the Mathematics department at Davidson College in 2012 after completing my PhD in Computer Science at Cornell University. I attended Purdue University as an undergraduate, graduating with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
I teach across the computer science curriculum at Davidson, and look forward to supporting and expanding our course offerings in this area. My research interests span multiple areas of Artificial Intelligence, including automated planning, combinatorial search, and machine learning. I supervise student research projects and theses on related topics”