Augmented Artificial Intelligence for Social good, Data & AI Ethics highlighted at ASEI’s 2021 AI Summit


Prominent participants in AI summit

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Fremont, CA

On April 24th, the American Society of Engineers of Indian Origin (ASEI) convened an AI Summit with a number of researchers, authors, speakers and experts covering Artificial Intelligence from multiple perspectives: Augmented Intelligence with Data, AI/ML Solutions for social benefit and Artificial Intelligence Applications for the enterprise & AI Ethics

Opening the summit, Divya Ashok, who serves as VP of Innovation and Strategy at Salesforce, introduced the AI Summit Chair Piyush Malik who has been working in the Data & AI domain for over 25 years, currently as the Senior Vice President at SpringML, a Google partner startup in Silicon Valley. Piyush gave a bird’s eye view of the AI landscape, the real life and enterprise application opportunities as well as set the stage for the plenary segment where the theme was AI for Society. He recognized the contributions of AI pioneer technologists and Turing awardees over the past 7 decades including Prof Raj Reddy, the first Asian and the only Indian origin person to have won the Nobel prize of computing (i.e., Turing Award for AI) in 1994 long before the current euphoria over AI was commonplace.

Vilas Dhar, President and Trustee of thePatrick J. McGovern Foundation (PJMF), gave a message of support from PJMF to ASEI as we work towards our shared vision for AI – powered yet human-centric ethical endeavor for the benefit of society as we explore the future of meaningful work through youth empowerment. PJMF is a 21st century philanthropy advancing artificial intelligence (AI) and data solutions to create a thriving, equitable, and sustainable future for all.Vilas, a biomedical engineer by initial training is an entrepreneur, technologist, and human rights advocate with a lifelong commitment to creating more robust, human-centered social institutions. His message of support for AI for social benefit and data philanthropy fostered through interactions with ASEI leadership was complemented by the next speaker Dr Sundar Sundareshwaran, AI Fellow at the World Economic Forum (WEF) where PJMF is a supporter.

At WEF, Dr Sundar is co-creating a governance framework with a multi-stakeholder community for the use of Chatbots in healthcare amongst other initiatives which he talked about in detail having an impact in the COVID era. 

In the next section of the summit three authors spoke about their respective work and the impact each of them is having in the field of AI. 

ASEI Michigan chapter president Muthu Sivanantham introduced and facilitated discussion with the next two speakers.  Dr Raj Ramesh, a TEDx speaker who happens to have a doctorate in AI was the next author to speak. He has broad experience with digital transformation and helps organizations bring together complementary strengths of machines and humans to effect grand change.  His talk featuring interesting doodles and interactive audience participation surveys was patterned on his recent book, “AI & You” and he advised how to co-exist with machines by sharing how to think, thrive, and transform in an AI driven future.

“AI will present a lot of opportunities in the future.  Sure, some jobs will be replaced, but each of us can leverage our knowledge, passion, and experience to position ourselves at the forefront of this cognitive revolution” – Dr Raj Ramesh at the ASEI AI Summit

The next speaker Ashish Bansal with his cool demeanor brought to light an example of how rubber meets the road in AI though Models in Natural Language Processing. NLP is a topic of increasing attention given the recent popularity of Open AI’s GPT3 model and discussions of “AI creating AI”.

Final section of the AI Summit was the “Women in Data & AI” segment facilitated by Vatsala Upadhya and featured a lively and colorful “Ethics in AI” discussion between Dr Sindhu Joseph, CEO of Cognicor with 6 Patents in AI, and Bala Sahejpal, SVP at DataRobot with Piyanka Jain, President and CEO of Aryng moderating.

The interactive Q&A sessions and chat texts continued to buzz throughout the nearly four hour conference with an engaged audience. The most interesting audience questions and some early bird participants won 10 books courtesy the three authors and publishers. Proposing the vote of thanks, Raju Sreewastava, CEO of Big Data Trunk announced the list of winners.

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