SCS Special Talk

  • Gates Hillman Centers
  • Reddy Conference Room 4405
  • P. ANANDAN: Chief Executive Officer
  • RAHUL: Chief Innovation Officer
  • The Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence (Wadhwani AI)

Building innovative AI solutions to solve complex social challenges at a global scale

AI holds tremendous potential to help underserved populations in the developing world in domains like health, agriculture, education, and financial inclusion. However, bringing AI to the service of these challenges and having scalable impact requires innovating for unique constraints. In this talk, we share lessons learned from our experience developing AI solutions to help healthcare workers in rural areas weigh newborns using a smartphone, help cotton farmers fight pest attacks, and help TB programs find and support TB patients. AI-for-social-good offers a rich source of problems for AI, spanning computer vision, weakly-supervised learning, causal reasoning, domain adaptation, uncertainty calibration, explainability, computing on low-resource devices, and privacy-preserving learning.

The Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence (Wadhwani AI) is an independent non-profit research institute that develops and deploys AI-for-social-good solutions in the developing world.

Dr. P. Anandan has been the CEO of Wadhwani Institute of Artificial Intelligence since its inception in Feb 2018.  Previous to this Anandan was VP for Research at the Adobe Research Lab India (2016-2017) and before that a Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director at Microsoft Research (1997-2014). Anandan was the founding director of Microsoft Research India which he ran from 2005-2014.  Prior to this, Anandan was researcher at Sarnoff corporation (1991-1997) and an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Yale University (1987-1991).  His primary research area is Computer vision where he is well known for his fundamental and lasting contributions to the problem of visual motion analysis.

Anandan received his PhD in Computer Science from University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1987, a Masters in Computer Science from University of Nebraska, Lincoln in 1979 and his BTech in Electrical Engineering from IIT Madras, India in 1977.  He is a distinguished alumnus of IIT Madras, and UMass, Amherst and is on the Nebraska Hall of Computing.

Dr. Rahul Panicker, as Chief Innovation Officer, heads research at the Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Prior to this, he was co-founder of Embrace, a for-profit social enterprise that has helped over 500,000 babies worldwide through low-cost incubators that work without electricity. He is an MIT TR35 awardee, World Economic Forum Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Industrial Design Society of America Gold winner, and an Echoing Green Fellow. He holds an MS/PhD in EE from Stanford University, is an alumnus of the Stanford, and has a B.Tech from IIT Madras.

Host: Philip Lehman

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