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Nerd Nite SF #107: AI Bias, Swarm Robots, and Fungi!

Do as I Say, Not as I Do: Can We Avoid Imparting Human Biases to Computers

As the AI revolution is poised to impact nearly every facet of life, concerns are mounting about how training computers to think like us can amplify some of the worst parts of ourselves. Is our training data teaching machines to adopt human biases on race, gender, age, and more? We’ll look at concrete examples of these issues, as well as consider how we got here, starting with basic questions of who decides who gets to see themselves as “a computer person,” and how early experiences shape our perceptions of our relationship to technology.

Speaker: Cynthia Lee, Stanford.

Swarm Robotics: How to Build an Ant Farm

Robots, those complex autonomous machines, are just not all that exciting. Thousands of them? Better, but still insufficiently terrifying. But what if we make them *swarm* like insects in vast hives of robotic bugs? Now we’re talking!

We’ll learn how to mimic ants, bees and termites in autonomous machines. See why building robotic insects is a good idea, how artificial swarms work, and how a giant, terrifying ball of ants can be used as the basis for solving some of the hard problems in robotics. So let’s build an ant farm (some assembly required)!

Speaker: Iain Brookshaw, robot builder

Fungal in the Jungle

More details on Jessie’s talk is coming, but we can tell you she’s traveled across two continents exploring the diversity and beauty of the fungal denizens of the tropical rainforest. Jessie is a mycologist and evolutionary geneticist captivated by how symbioses - mutually benefical relationships between different organisms - are established, maintained, and evolve over time. By studying fungus and their plant hosts from rainforests in South America and Africa, she looks for patterns to better understand the evolutionary history of the fungus among us.

Speaker: Jessie Uehling, UC Berkeley

Wednesday, 04/17/19


Website: Click to Visit



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155 Fell St. @ Van Ness
San Francisco, CA 94102