Can you speak to your phone or computer? Do you use Wikipedia? Did you know the family car was built by dozens of robots, with not a human in sight? For over five-decades, Raj Reddy and his students established the foundations for these technologies: speech recognition, analysis of natural scenes, autonomous robotic systems, and universal access to information.
Raj Reddy grew up on a farm in Katur, India. After studies there and in Australia, Reddy received the first PhD in artificial intelligence at Stanford University, doing pioneering work in speech recognition under the supervision of John McCarthy. He taught at Stanford for three years then, in 1969, joined the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University where he fostered the creation of world-class centers and institutes for language, human-computer interaction, machine learning, and software research. Over his five-decade teaching career, Reddy empowered thousands of students, many of whom soon made vital contributions to a wide array of technologies.
Reddy has also been a passionate advocate of access to information for all. With Nicholas Negroponte and others, he was instrumental in building Le Centre Mondial Informatique et Ressource Humaine to bring computing technology to developing nations. He also helped launch the Million Book Project to digitize the world’s books and make them available online, and also co-founded Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies in India, whose mission is to provide an education to students from rural villages.
Today Raj is excited about improving access to information for the 2.5 billion illiterate people in the world.
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Editor's Note: Time of this event has changed from the originally scheduled 6:00 PM.
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