POSTPONED: Soc(AI)ety Seminars Series: “Reality-Centric AI”

*This event has been postponed and will not occur on October 24th. Updated information will be available soon!


It is little noticed that two camps have emerged in AI and machine learning (ML). One, which we call Petri-dish AI and which is exemplified by clean, simple-to-define yet challenging-to-solve problems like playing games or making biological or chemical  discoveries. The other camp, in which the van der Schaar Lab is a leader, and which we call Reality-centric AI, puts the inherent and unavoidable complexity of the real world at the heart of designing, training, testing, and deploying models. We define Reality-centric AI as AI which can operate effectively, reliably, and accountability in the real world. We believe that the balance between the two camps needs to change.

Today, numerous investments are made on Petri-dish AI and not nearly enough on Reality-centric AI. (Prominent examples of the Reality-centric AI agenda in which significant research and financial investments have been made are self-driving cars and robotics. Yet, numerous other areas in which Reality-centric AI can make a difference have received much less attention.) Therefore, we propose a reality-centric research agenda consisting of eight pillars to pull together disparate fields of current research1 and build the necessary new ML tools and models to deliver the world-changing promise of AI.

Guest Speaker Bio:

Mihaela van der Schaar is the John Humphrey Plummer Professor of Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Medicine at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute in London. In addition to leading the van der Schaar Lab, Mihaela is founder and director of the Cambridge Centre for AI in Medicine (CCAIM).

Mihaela was elected IEEE Fellow in 2009. She has received numerous awards, including the Oon Prize on Preventative Medicine from the University of Cambridge (2018), a National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2004), 3 IBM Faculty Awards, the IBM Exploratory Stream Analytics Innovation Award, the Philips Make a Difference Award and several best paper awards, including the IEEE Darlington Award.

Mihaela is personally credited as inventor on 35 USA patents (the majority of which are listed here), many of which are still frequently cited and adopted in standards. She has made over 45 contributions to international standards for which she received 3 ISO Awards. In 2019, a Nesta report determined that Mihaela was the most-cited female AI researcher in the U.K.