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machine learning artificial intelligence retreat RIT 2017

Artificial Intelligence at RIT

Artificial Intelligence is one of the most exciting and transformative opportunities of our time. In recent years, there are enormous advancements in cognitive technologies, such as machine learning, neuromorphic computing, computer vision, natural language processing, data science, and robotics. These advancements will have profound impact on human computer interaction, computing paradigms, business, and economics. How will these changes influence the research and education at RIT?

“This isn’t human versus machine. It’s human and machine.” Cade Metz, "In Two Moves, AlphaGo and Lee Sodel Redefined the Future," Wired Magazine

Read "Move 78-A retreat focused on cognitive technologies for the RIT community," a recent post by Jeremy Haefner, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs.

Move78 AI.x  Seminar Series

Starting on Monday, September 11, 2017

Every Monday 12:20-1:15 PM

Location: Bamboo Rooms (Campus Center)

​Join us for another exciting round of ​weekly interdisciplinary seminar series on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Technologies. A full slate of speakers is confirmed for this semester.

Mark your calendar to be part of this interactive series, where experts unravel the pressing research challenges and their ingenious solutions in AI/Cognitive Technologies space.

This series is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and is open to the public.

No registration is required. Pizza and drinks will be served.

September 25: Can a computer improve your social skills?

Ehsan Hoque, Ph.D., University of Rochester


Many people fear automation. They may see it as a potential job killer. They may also be concerned about what can be automated. Could we train a computer to teach us human skills? Should we? 

Artificial intelligence, when designed properly, can help people improve important social and cognitive skills. My research group has shown how automated systems can develop skills that improve performance in job interviews, public speaking, negotiations, working as part of a team, producing vowels during music training, end-of-life communication between oncologists and cancer patients, and even routine social interactions for people with Asperger’s syndrome.

In this talk, I will offer insights gained from our exploration of several questions: How are humans able to improve important social and cognitive skills with a computer? What aspect of the feedback helps the most? How to design experiments to ensure that the skills generalize?

To request interpreting services, visit

Agenda-February 17, 2017-Retreat on Artificial Intelligence at RIT

Friday, February 17, 2017
Slaughter Hall, RIT

Continental Breakfast

Event Registration

8:00 AM


Retreat Overview and RIT’s role
Provost Jeremy Haefner

Overview of Retreat
Dhireesha Kudithipudi

8:30 - 8:45 AM

Keynote Speaker

AI 2.0: brains for bots (view video)
Max Versace, Ph.D.

Founder of the Boston University Neuromorphics Lab and co-founder and CEO of Neurala Inc.


8:45 - 9:30 AM



9:30 -9:45 AM


An Introduction to Quantum Computing in the D-Wave Universe (with ML application) (view video)
Bo Ewald, President

D-Wave Systems International, Inc.

9:45-10:30 AM
Overview of AI at RIT AI research explorations at RIT 10:30-11:15 AM

Networking Lunch
and Poster Session


11:15-12:45 PM


The Future of Artificial Intelligence (view video)
Roman Yampolskiy, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science at the Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville and RIT Alum

12:45-1:30 PM

Focus Groups*

5 discussion groups - tentative topics listed below

  • Impact of AI on Education, Ethics, and Law
  • Vision and Language
  • Robotics and Autonomous Systems
  • Cognitive Science and Bio-inspired Computing
  • Data Science Analytics

1:30-2:15 PM

Focus Group Summaries


2:15-2:45 PM

Closing Remarks

Jeremy Haefner

2:45-3:00 PM


Closing Reception – High Tea

3:00-4:00 PM


Speakers, Bios, and Event Videos


TITLE: AI 2.0: brains for bots

BIO: Massimiliano “Max” Versace is founder of the Boston University Neuromorphics Lab and the co-founder and CEO of Neurala Inc. After his pioneering research in brain-inspired computing and deep networks, he continues to inspire and lead the world of autonomous robotics. He has spoken at a number of events and venues, including TedX, NASA, The Pentagon, Los Alamos National Labs, Air Force Research Labs, HP, iRobot, Samsung, LG, Qualcomm, Ericsson, BAE Systems, Mitsubishi, ABB and Accenture. In addition, his work has been featured in IEEE Spectrum, New Scientist, Geek Magazine, CNN and MSNBC. Versace is a Fulbright scholar, has authored dozens of academic publications and holds several patents. He also holds two Ph.D.s: in Experimental Psychology from the University of Trieste and in Cognitive and Neural Systems from Boston University.


TITLE: An Introduction to Quantum Computing in the D-Wave Universe 

BIO: Bo Ewald has lengthy experience in the technology industry, as a user, engineer, customer and executive with some of the leading high performance computer systems and graphics companies.  He is currently the President of D-Wave International, the world’s first commercial quantum computing company.  Prior to that he was Chairman/CEO/President of Perceptive Pixel, the touch sensitive display company, computer graphics pioneer Silicon Graphics, and Cray Research, the first supercomputer company. Bo began his management career at the Los Alamos National Laboratory as the head of its Computing and Communications Division. He is involved in various industry organizations and was appointed to the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee by Presidents Clinton and Bush.  He has also served on the boards of several public and private companies.

ABSTRACT:  This presentation will review some of the thinking, fundamentals and activities behind quantum computing, starting with the ideas originally introduced by Richard Feynman in 1982.  We will look at different architectural approaches to quantum computing, and then describe the ideas that led to quantum annealing.  D-Wave has implemented the first commercial quantum annealing computer with initial customers Lockheed Martin/USC’s Information Sciences Institute, Google and NASA/Ames, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.  The D-Wave technology, system and the software environment will be discussed.  Some of the potential applications will also be presented, with some glimpses into how Machine Learning might fit in the quantum computing universe.


TITLE: Future of Artificial Intelligence

BIO:  Dr. Roman V. Yampolskiy is a tenured associate professor in the department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science at the Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville. He is the founding and current director of the Cyber Security Lab and an author of many books including Artificial Superintelligence: a Futuristic Approach. During his tenure at U of L, Dr. Yampolskiy has been recognized as: Distinguished Teaching ProfessorProfessor of the Year, Faculty Favorite, Top 4 Faculty, Leader in Engineering Education, Top 10 of Online College Professor of the Year, and Outstanding Early Career in Education award winner among many other honors and distinctions. Yampolskiy is a senior member of IEEE and AGI; member of Kentucky Academy of Science, and research advisor for MIRI and Associate of GCRI. Dr. Yampolskiy’s main areas of interest are AI Safety and Cybersecurity. Dr. Yampolskiy is an author of over 100 publications including multiple journal articles and books. His research has been cited by 1000+ scientists and profiled in popular magazines both American and foreign (New Scientist, Poker Magazine, Science World Magazine), hundreds of websites (BBC, MSNBC, Yahoo! News), on radio (German National Radio, Swedish National Radio, Alex Jones Show) and TV. Dr. Yampolskiy’s research has been featured 700+ times in numerous media reports in 30 languages.

Dr. Yampolskiy has been an invited speaker at 60+ events including Swedish National Academy of Science, Supreme Court of Korea, Princeton University and many others.

Steering Committee Members: 

Cecilia Ovesdotter Alm, College of Liberal Arts
Ed Brown, Kate Gleason College of Engineering
Jeremy Haefner, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Christopher Kanan, College of Science
Dhireesha Kudithipudi, Kate Gleason College of Engineering
Fernando Naveda,    B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences
Ray Ptucha, Kate Gleason College of Engineering
Leonid Reznik, B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences
Carol Romanowski, B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences
Richard Zanibbi, B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences


Video of February, 2017 presentations:

AI 2.0: brains for bots (view video)
Max Versace 

An Introduction to Quantum Computing in the D-Wave Universe (with ML application) (view video)
Bo Ewald

The Future of Artificial Intelligence (view video)
Roman Yampolskiy


Move 78 Retreat Posters (PDF)

Coming to a home near you: Thinking toys, security cameras and cars powered by Neurala (CNBC)


Contact the Move 78 organizers:

Dhireesha Kudithipudi
Associate Professor and Graduate Program Chair
Kate Gleason College of Engineering





Christopher Kanan
Assistant Professor
Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science