Four Allen School undergraduates -- Andrew Hu, Jenny Liang, Parker Ruth and Savanna Yee -- have been selected for the 2020 class of the Husky 100. Each year, the Husky 100 program honors 100 University of Washington students across its three campuses, in a variety of disciplines, who are making the most of their time as Huskies to have a positive impact on the UW community. Andrew Hu is a senior majoring in computer science and education, communities and organizations, the first at the UW to combine the two. His education classes taught him to focus on relationships, empathy, equity and allyship and how to incorporate those into computer science. Last summer he worked on a research project in the iSchool with informatics chair and Allen School adjunct professor Amy Ko, creating a class that allowed students to explore what interests them and see how it might be connected to computing.
The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) is a non-profit research institute in Seattle founded by Paul Allen and headed by Professor Oren Etzioni. The core mission of (AI2) is to contribute to humanity through high-impact AI research and engineering. We are actively seeking post docs and Research Scientists at all levels who are passionate about AI and who can help us achieve this core mission by teaming to construct AI systems with reasoning, learning and reading capabilities. AI2 Research Scientists will have a primary focus in one of these specific areas but will also have the opportunity to contribute and engage in a variety of other areas critical to our research and mission. These include opportunities to participate in or lead select R&D projects, work with management to develop the long term vision for knowledge systems R&D, take a leading role in overseeing and implementing software systems supporting AI2's research, author and present scientific papers and presentations for peer-reviewed journals and conferences, and help develop collaborative and strategic relationships with relevant academic, industrial, government, and standards organizations.
Each big step of progress in computing -- from mainframe to personal computer to internet to smartphone -- has opened opportunities for more people to invent on the digital frontier. But there is growing concern that trend is being reversed at tech's new leading edge, artificial intelligence. Computer scientists say AI research is becoming increasingly expensive, requiring complex calculations done by giant data centers, leaving fewer people with easy access to the computing firepower necessary to develop the technology behind futuristic products like self-driving cars or digital assistants that can see, talk and reason. The danger, they say, is that pioneering artificial intelligence research will be a field of haves and have-nots. And the haves will be mainly a few big tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, which each spend billions a year building out their data centers.
Universities have long been a source of talented leaders for industry, but an accelerating exodus of professors with expertise in artificial intelligence has caused concerns. A recent Bloomberg op-ed asked, "If industry keeps hiring the cutting-edge scholars, who will train the next generation of innovators in artificial intelligence?" This article analyzes the problem and suggests solutions. The brain drain of AI experts out of academia can be explained in simple economic terms. The demand for experts has outpaced supply, leading to sharply increased prices.
At the world's top computer-vision conference last June, Google and Apple sponsored an academic contest that challenged algorithms to make sense of images from twin cameras collected under varied conditions, such as sunny and poor weather. Artificial intelligence software proficient at that task could help the US tech giants with money-making projects such as autonomous cars or augmented reality. But the winner was an institution with very different interests and allegiances: China's National University of Defense Technology, a top military academy of the People's Liberation Army. That anecdote helps illustrate China's broad ambitions in AI and recent prominence on the field's frontiers. In 2017 the country's government announced a new artificial intelligence strategy that aims to rival the US in the crucial technology by 2020.