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On January 17, 2018, President Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., hosted a sold-out Global Game Changers event on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and the innovation economy at the iconic New York Yacht Club. 160 alumni, alumnae, parents, and friends of the Institute attended the special event, which was cosponsored by Mr. Bob Bedard ’75 and Mr. Bill Ketcham ’73. Moderator Shekhar Garde, Ph.D., Dean of the Rensselaer School of Engineering engaged an expert panel on the current and future uses of AI and machine learning and their potential socio-economic impact.

The panelists discussed the rapid pace of progress in deep learning neural networks, which leverages massive amounts of data to identify and make sense of patterns, resulting in dramatic improvements in speech and image recognition technology, self-monitoring vehicles, homes, and buildings. In the field of medicine, advances in AI are contributing to earlier detection and diagnosis of diseases and illnesses, and helping researchers achieve breakthroughs in the use of genetic markers to personalize medical treatments.

In her introductory remarks, Dr. Jackson acknowledged the groundbreaking work of our alumni
and alumnae, faculty, and students in the field of artificial intelligence. “Our panelists this evening…underscore the leadership of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in both the research and the education that are shaping the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution—which are bringing together the physical, the biological, and the digital realms—and human intelligence with machine intelligence.”


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