Trustworthy Generative AI

Seminar from the Center for Research on Programmable Plant Systems (CROPPS)
Speaker: Lav Varshney
Virtual event: register on Zoom

Generative AI has taken the world by storm and is impacting numerous application areas ranging from music and art to engineering design and scientific discovery. In this talk, we will first present several examples of generative AI technology and deployment, such as knowledge-based approaches going back to Chef Watson and statistical approaches including large language models. Then we discuss desiderata and public policy around generative AI, including recent efforts in the U.S. federal government. Finally, we will detail a new approach to generative AI called information lattice learning that reifies many of the desiderata and policy objectives. We will also make some connections to CROPPS efforts.

Lav Varshney is an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, co-founder and CEO of Kocree, Inc., a startup company using novel human-integrated AI in social music co-creativity platforms to enhance human collaboration and wellbeing across society, and chief scientist of Ensaras, Inc., a startup company focused on AI and wastewater treatment. He is a former White House staffer, having just served on the National Security Council staff as a White House Fellow, where he contributed to national AI and wireless communications policy. Previously at IBM Research, he led the development and deployment of the Chef Watson system for culinary creativity as the first commercially successful generative AI technology that also received worldwide acclaim. At Salesforce Research, he was part of the team that open-source released the largest and most capable large language model at the time. His work and public scholarship has been featured in media ranging from Fox News and the Wall Street Journal to the New York Times, NPR, Slate, and The New Yorker. He has appeared in the Robert Downey, Jr. documentary series, Age of AI. He holds a B.S. degree in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell University and S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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