Public Interest Technology Night
Artificial intelligence is a system that can correctly interpret data, learn from it, and then use what it’s learned to adapt in order to achieve specific goals autonomously. AI can do things faster and better than humans, and we reap the rewards, but AI-based technologies also have the capacity to be harmful in ways we might not predict. Good Systems invites you to meet and network with UT researchers and Austin tech industry leaders as we attempt to answer the following: Can we ensure that AI advances are consistent with established standards so that they’re compatible with and responsive to society’s needs and values? And if so, how?
6:00 PM – Check in
6:15 PM – Panel Discussion with Q&A
7:30 PM – Reception with food and drinks (drinks generously donated by Tito’s Vodka)
Charlie Burgoyne, Founder & CEO, Valkyrie Intelligence
Charlie Burgoyne is the Founder & CEO of Valkyrie Intelligence, a firm that specializes in applied science and machine learning. Charlie is also a general partner for Valkyrie Signals, an AI driven hedge fund based in Austin. Charlie leads a team of highly trained scientists and strategists to implement advanced analytics and machine learning into industrial processes and consumer products. Previously, he held a variety of roles including Principal Director of Data Science at Frog Design, Director of Data Science at Rosetta Stone, a research physicist for the DOE and NNSA, and a research astrophysicist for NASA. Charlie holds a master’s degree in theoretical physics from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s in nuclear physics from George Washington University.
Chris Burns, Senior AI/ML Specialist SA – Partner Segment, aws partner network
Erstwhile Mechanical Engineer (Robotics) and SDE. As a Machine Learning practitioner, I now focus on new and emerging recombinant technologies and how they can be leveraged to create innovative, efficient solutions to current challenges. This includes applied Reinforcement Learning, Spatial Computing and the convergence of Robotics and consumer technology.
A Senior AI/ML Specialist at AWS since 2016. This position has given me the rare opportunity of reviewing hundreds upon hundreds of ML production use cases and allowed me to identify macro trends across industry verticals, on a planetary scale.
Ricky Hennessy, US Central Lead, Fjord Designed Intelligence
Ricky is the Fjord Designed Intelligence Lead for Austin and Chicago. He has a background in data science, design, and engineering. As a practical academic, he likes to apply state-of-the-art data science techniques to real-world business problems. He has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, over a decade of experience in data science, and has spent the last four years working in design.
Junfeng Jiao, Associate Professor School of Architecture, The University of Texas
Junfeng Jiao is an associate professor in School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin and director of the Urban Information Lab. His research focuses on Urban Informatics, Shared Economy, and Smart City. Using information technologies, he investigated people’s perception of cities in cyber space, quantified Uber’s price surge during holidays, measured Airbnb spatial distributions, and explored shared micro mobilities. He also coined the term transit deserts and developed different methods to quantify it. His research has been published by Cities, Journal of Urban Technology, Journal of American Planning Association and Journal of Planning Education and Research. His work also has been reported by Associated Press, CNN, US News, Yahoo, MSN, NBC, NPR, USA today, Finance and Commerce, City Lab, The Conversation, Chicago Tribute, San Francisco Chronicle, LA Times, Seattle Times, Seattle Met, Dallas News, Houston Chronicle, Austin Statesman, Texas Tribune, Wired and many other news outlets.
Stephen Straus, Managing Director, KUNGFU.AI
Stephen Straus is co-founder and Managing Director of KUNGFU.AI, an AI services firm focused on strategy, solutions and transformation. In his career, Stephen has started, ran and successfully sold two companies and was also a Kauffman Fellow and General Partner at Austin Ventures, at the time the largest venture capital firm between the two coasts. He is a graduate of Colgate University and received his MBA from Harvard Business School. He is founding chair of Impact Dyslexia, a non-profit focused on dyslexia, serves on the Engineering Advisory Board of the Cockrell College of Engineering at the University of Texas and is a former member of the Board of Directors of Sustainable Food Center and Austin Film Society. He is also currently spearheading The Startup Diversity and Inclusion Pledge and is a partner and mentor at Capital Factory. Stephen lives in Austin with his terrific wife and four great kids.
Ari Yacobi, Director, Accenture North America Data Business Group
Ari Yacobi heads Data & Advanced Analytics Strategy engagements for Accenture’s North America Data Business Group. Ari came to Accenture through Knowledgent acquisition (2018), where he was the Chief Data Scientist. Previously, Ari was the Chief Technology Officer at ProfitPoint, a loyalty platform-as-as-service provider to middle-market retailers, where he led the development of first of its kind data science driven loyalty platform. Ari also played a key role in company forming partnership with Google and integrating the loyalty platform into Google Wallet. The company was acquired in 2013. Ari started his career at Microsoft where he was selected to be part of Microsoft’s leadership development program for college hires. He holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and combined Master’s in Engineering and Business from Penn Engineering & The Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania.
More about Good Systems
We use artificial intelligence technologies to entertain us, communicate, get places faster, make predictions, swipe left or right, protect our homes, drive more safely, and solve complex problems quickly and easily. AI is changing the way we do everything because it’s everywhere — from dating apps to the most advanced military weapons systems.
So how can we ensure that AI is beneficial to humanity, not detrimental? How can we develop technology that makes life better for all of us, not just some?
Good Systems, launching this fall, is the third and final research grand challenge at The University of Texas at Austin. Grand challenges are “moonshot goals,” referring to President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 commitment to land humans on the moon. These challenges are audacious, risky, and might fail, but they attempt to tackle issues that are too important and urgent to ignore.
Our goal is to find a way to evaluate and design ethical AI technologies that protect and improve our world — then to share that process. To do this, our team brings students and researchers together from computer science, philosophy, engineering, information science, communications and journalism, business, and the arts. Each of these perspectives is needed as we think about what it means to be “good” and to envision a way to develop AI-based technologies that consider human values at their core.