An Alternative View on AI: Collaborative Learning, Statistical Incentives, and Social Welfare

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Auditorium between building 2 and 3


Artificial intelligence (AI) has focused on a paradigm in which intelligence inheres in a single, autonomous agent. Social issues are entirely secondary in this paradigm. When AI systems are deployed in social contexts, however, the overall design of such systems is often naive --- a centralized entity provides services to passive agents and reaps the rewards. Such a paradigm need not be the dominant paradigm for information technology. In a broader framing, agents are active, they are cooperative, and they wish to obtain value from their participation in learning-based systems. Agents may supply data and other resources to the system, only if it is in their interest to do so. Critically, intelligence inheres as much in the overall system as it does in individual agents, be they humans or computers. This is a perspective that is familiar in the social sciences, and a key theme in my work is that of bringing economics into contact with foundational issues in computing and data sciences. I'll emphasize some of the mathematical challenges that arise at this tripartite interface.

Brief Biography

Michael I. Jordan is a researcher at INRIA and Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests bridge the computational, statistical, cognitive, biological and social sciences. Prof. Jordan is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. He was the inaugural winner of the World Laureates Association (WLA) Prize in 2022. He was a Plenary Lecturer at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 2018. He has received the Ulf Grenander Prize from the American Mathematical Society, the IEEE John von Neumann Medal, the IJCAI Research Excellence Award, the David E. Rumelhart Prize, and the ACM/AAAI Allen Newell Award. In 2016, Prof. Jordan was named the "most influential computer scientist" worldwide in an article in Science, based on rankings from the Semantic Scholar search engine.

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