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Conversations with Robots: UCSC’s Marilyn Walker on the Future of AI

By Cat Johnson

March 9, 2018 — Santa Cruz, CA

(Photo above: Marilyn Walker, Professor of Computer Science at UC Santa Cruz.)

Originally published at http://www.santacruzworks.org/news/conversations-robots-ucsc’s-marilyn-walker-future-ai

Discussions about artificial intelligence tend to the extremes: AI is either going to transform life as we know it for the better, or else, as my brother in-law is convinced, we’re engineering robots that will destroy us.

Marilyn Walker, a Professor of Computer Science at UC Santa Cruz and a fellow of the Association for Computational Linguistics, isn’t terribly worried. The way she sees it, we have a long way to go before anything dystopian is even a consideration.

“My snarky comment about the ‘AI is going to kill us’ all argument,” she says, “is if anybody really understood how bad it is at so many things, then nobody would be worried.”

An acclaimed AI researcher, Walker’s work includes the following: computational models of dialogue interaction and conversational agents, analysis of affect, sarcasm and other social phenomena in social media dialogue, acquiring causal knowledge from text, conversational summarization, interactive story and narrative generation, and statistical methods for training the dialogue manager and the language generation engine for dialogue systems.

Continue reading here: http://www.santacruzworks.org/news/conversations-robots-ucsc’s-marilyn-walker-future-ai

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