Artificial Intelligence - with a human touch
A. Sue Weisler
Some of RIT’s professors are teaching very different kinds of students. Their classrooms are labs, and the students are high-tech computers being taught to think.
There is a growing group of RIT researchers working in a field broadly known as artificial intelligence, or AI. They are building increasingly complex algorithms—the rules that govern operating systems—so that machines can perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, including making decisions.
As part of RIT’s Center for Human-Aware Artificial Intelligence, these faculty researchers believe their work, with multi-millions of dollars in funding from the National Science Foundation, National Security Administration, Air Force Research Labs and other prominent organizations, could lead to breakthroughs in everything from health care to energy management to cybersecurity.
“There is an exuberance in this field,” said Dhireesha Kudithipudi, one of the center founders and a professor of computer engineering. “And the work and research we are doing today is to improve human lives tomorrow.”
RIT is uniquely positioned to tackle this area because the university has the right combination of people with expertise in AI, as well as researchers in specialized fields, such as American Sign Language and imaging science.
Work at the center builds on national priorities for AI, where the economic impact is projected to increase global GDP by nearly $16 trillion by 2030, according to a 2017 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“There is a huge opportunity for researchers in this domain, but the tricky part is that these researchers need to be truly interdisciplinary,” said Kudithipudi, director of the center, who is seeing some of those interdisciplinary connections being made.
AI is an umbrella term for multiple fields of computing technologies—deep learning, computer vision, neuromorphic computing, natural language processing, for example—strengths of the faculty researchers involved in the center. These strengths became the center’s four key areas: brain-inspired computing, machine learning and perception, automation and human-centered AI.
Projects will address society’s challenges in the areas of manufacturing, cybersecurity, sustainable systems and energy develop–ment, and improve medical care and technology. They will also address deeper questions such as how do humans and machines interact with each other and how do machines interpret intent.
“The benefits and future successes of AI will come from multiple disciplines and people who come together to develop new application domains,” Kudithipudi said.
July 19, 2019
RIT incorporates ‘soft skills’ elective into engineering educational curriculum
As part of a growing trend in enriching engineering education, RIT has approved a new course in soft skills for engineers. The one-credit elective course, originally piloted in the last academic year, has been approved as a credit-bearing option for students in RIT’s College of Engineering Technology and will begin in September.
July 19, 2019
RIT Croatia Professor Staša Puškarić featured in HBO documentary ‘Ice on Fire’
A professor from RIT Croatia is featured in Ice on Fire, a new HBO documentary about climate change produced by Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio, George DiCaprio and Mathew Schmid and directed by Leila Conners. Professor Staša Puškarić is one of several scientists featured who outline solutions designed stave off the worst effects of global warming.
July 18, 2019
Continued concern over FaceApp's ties to Russia
WHAM-TV talks to student Nicole Baldwin, applied arts and sciences, and Jonathan Weissman, senior lecturer of computing security, about security concerns surrounding FaceApp, a mobile app that transforms faces in photo.
July 17, 2019
RIT professors organize yarn installation in Rochester Aug. 21
Grab your needles, yarn or thread, and get crafting for democracy in a community-wide tribute to Rochester’s legacy of social activism with a contemporary twist. Fiber artists are needed to contribute to a yarn installation celebrating the Rochester Ladies Anti-Slavery Sewing Society at a historic site on Corinthian Street.