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Does AI Spell the Death of Social Interaction?

Time: Fri 2021-10-15 15.15

Location: Fantum (and virtually)

Lecturer: Prof. Justine Cassell

Abstract:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has implications for almost every aspect of
our lives. The fears that it has evoked, however, sometimes seem to
outweigh the possibilities, and fears about the future of work and the
future of social interaction seem to weigh most heavily upon us. Much
of what we have seen in AI until now, though, has been built based on
data about humans at work (or at least carrying out tasks of one sort or
another), and has ignored key aspects of the social interactions that
happen before, during, and after those tasks we carry out with others.
In this talk I will describe some unexpected results about the ways in
which social interaction supports and improves task performance in
people, and how social interaction can profitably be integrated into AI,
with implications for the future of AI, the future of work, and the
future of social interaction.


Speaker bio:
Justine Cassell is currently on leave from Carnegie Mellon University to
hold the founding international chair at the PRAIRIE Institute for
Interdisciplinary Research in AI, and to serve as as a researcher at
Inria, both in Paris. She is also a member of the French governmental
commission on digital technology and society. Before going on leave, she
was Associate Dean of Technology Strategy and Impact in the School of
Computer Science at CMU, and faculty in the Language Technologies
Institute. Previously Cassell was faculty at Northwestern University
where she founded the Technology and Social Behavior Doctoral Program
and Research Center, and before that was a tenured professor at MIT.
Cassell has received the MIT Edgerton Prize, Anita Borg Institute Women
of Vision award, and the AAMAS Test of Time paper award. She is a fellow
of the AAAS, Royal Academy of Scotland, and the ACM.

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