Living Among Intelligent Machines

The Derry Dialogues

Monday, November 6 from 5:30 to 7:00

Thornbrough Building, Room 1200

Advances in machine learning have brought Artificial Intelligence into the public eye. Companies and governments are racing to invest in infrastructure and talent. The Economist has proclaimed that “the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data”. Even Russian president Vladimir Putin has recently said that the nation that leads in AI will be “the ruler of the world”.

As AI makes the leap from the cloud into our homes, workplace, and public spaces, everyone wants to know: What will our future look like, living amongst intelligent machines?

On Monday, November 6, a diverse set of experts, all working in various facets of AI, will converge on Guelph to discuss, debate, and explore our future during the second annual Derry Dialogue. Our panel will include one of the few economists focused on AI, a Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce law, a roboethicist, a researcher who studies the social implications of technology, and a member of the newly formed Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

Panel Members:

  • Ajay Agrawal, Peter Munk Professor of Entrepreneurship, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto and Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA
  • Rozita Dara, Assistant Professor, Computer Science, University of Guelph
  • Rebecca Finlay (Moderator), Vice-President, Engagement & Public Policy, CIFAR
  • Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair, Internet and E-commerce Law and Law professor, University of Ottawa
  • AJung Moon, Director of the Open Roboethics Institute (ORi); Technology Analyst and CEO, Generation R Consulting; and Vanier Scholar, UBC
  • Graham Taylor, Associate Professor, School of Engineering, University of Guelph and Academic Director, Next Al

The Derry Dialogues, made possible by the vision and support of Margaret and Douglas Derry, embody the idea and values of interdisciplinary approaches to the big issues of our time. The speakers in this annual series reflect the values of the University of Guelph and are engaged in holistic, rigorous, and interdisciplinary engagement as much in the public arena as in the academy.

About the panel members:

Ajay Agrawal Ajay Agrawal

Professor Agrawal conducts research on the economics of artificial intelligence (AI). His forthcoming book, coauthored with Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb, is titled "Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence" (Harvard Business School Press, 2018). He also conducts research on entrepreneurial finance, the economics of science, the commercialization of university science, and the economic geography of innovation. Professor Agrawal has been invited to present his research at Harvard University, MIT, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, the London School of Economics, INSEAD, the London Business School, the Washington Press Club, the Brookings Institute, and the National Bureau of Economic Research, among others. His work has been cited by a variety of media such as The Economist, The Harvard Business Review, Fortune, and The Wall Street Journal. He is founder of the Creative Destruction Lab at the University of Toronto, which includes a cohort of 100 machine learning-oriented companies - one of the greatest concentrations of AI-enabled companies of any program on Earth. Professor Agrawal is also co-founder of NextAI, a not-for-profit program to inspire young entrepreneurs and technologists to explore commercial opportunities that are a direct result of recent advances in AI.

Rozita Dara Rozita Dara

Dr. Dara is the Principal Investigator of Data Management and Data Governance research program at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on Big Data analytics, data mining, and data governance with a particular focus on applications such as privacy enhancing technologies, social intelligence, and precision agriculture. Dr. Dara has successfully obtained funding from government and industry. She is a Member of the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems. Dr. Dara has mentored over 40 highly qualified personnel. Prior to joining the University of Guelph, Dr. Dara has worked in industry (BlackBerry) and government (Office of Information and Privacy Commissioners/Ontario). During this period, she led research projects in the area of Mobile Health, in collaboration with University Health Network and Hospital for Sick Children. Also, in collaboration with the Identity, Privacy and Security Institute, University of Toronto, she led projects on building autonomous artificial intelligence algorithms with the aim of managing and protecting data in the Internet of Things. Dr. Dara holds several patents in diverse areas of artificial intelligence to improve smartphone keypad layout and customer relationship management.

Rebecca Finlay (moderator) Rebecca Finlay (moderator)

is responsible for extending the global impact of CIFAR’s research through engagements with innovative leaders in business, health, policy and international development including CIFAR’s new program in AI & Society. Rebecca heads up CIFAR’s strategy to grow and secure funding from governments in Canada and abroad and works with a team of knowledge mobilization experts who specialize in knowledge exchange, policy, government relations and innovation. Her past positions include Group Director, Public Affairs and Cancer Control for the Canadian Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute of Canada, First Vice President, Financial Institution and Partnership Marketing for Bank One International and Vice President, Member Business Management with MasterCard International. Rebecca holds an M.Phil. in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge and an Honours BA from McGill University.

Michael Geist Michael Geist

Michael Geist has been a visiting professor at universities around the world including the University of Haifa, Hong Kong University, and Tel Aviv University. He has obtained a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees from Cambridge University in the UK and Columbia Law School in New York, and a Doctorate in Law (J.S.D.) from Columbia Law School. Dr. Geist is the editor of many books including Law, Privacy and Surveillance in Canada in the Post-Snowden Era (2015, University of Ottawa Press), The Copyright Pentalogy: How the Supreme Court of Canada Shook the Foundations of Canadian Copyright Law (2013, University of Ottawa Press), From "Radical Extremism" to "Balanced Copyright": Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda (2010, Irwin Law) and In the Public Interest: The Future of Canadian Copyright Law (2005, Irwin Law). He is a regular columnist in the Globe and Mail, the editor of several monthly technology law publications, and the author of a popular blog on Internet and intellectual property law issues. Dr. Geist serves on many boards, including CIRA, Internet Archive Canada, and the EFF Advisory Board. He has received numerous awards for his work including the University of Ottawa Open Access Award in 2016, Kroeger Award for Policy Leadership and the Public Knowledge IP3 Award in 2010, the Les Fowlie Award for Intellectual Freedom from the Ontario Library Association in 2009, the EFF’s Pioneer Award in 2008, and Canarie’s IWAY Public Leadership Award for his contribution to the development of the Internet in Canada.

AJung Moon AJung Moon

Dr. AJung Moon is the Director of the Open Roboethics Institute (ORi), an internationally renowned think tank that has been spearheading active discussions of ethical, legal, and societal issues of robotics and intelligent machines since 2012. She is also the Technology Analyst and CEO of Generation R Consulting, a premium consulting firm that specializes in developing algorithm ethics roadmap for organizations innovating with AI and machine learning. She was a Vanier Scholar at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and a thought leader in roboethics and human-robot interaction (HRI). 

As a mechatronics engineer with over 8 years of research experience in robotics, robot ethics and HRI, she has been heavily involved in the shaping of global standards and policy that pertain to artificial intelligence and autonomous systems. She is an Executive Committee Member of the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems, and serves as a panelist on the International Panel on the Regulation of Autonomous Weapon Systems. She is a co-chair of the Canadian Robotics Strategy newly being established, and a panelist of the International Panel on the Regulation of Autonomous Weapons (IPRAW). She has presented at the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) Meeting of the States Parties on the global public sentiment on lethal autonomous weapon systems, and consults numerous organizations including the OECD and ICRC. She frequently serves as an expert panelist, speaker, and guest lecturer on roboethics.

Graham Taylor Graham Taylor

Dr. Taylor leads the Machine Learning Research Group at the University of Guelph.  He is the academic director of NextAI, non-profit initiative to establish Canada as the AI hub for research, venture creation and technology commercialization and a member of the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence. He was recently selected by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) as one of two Azrieli Global Scholars appointed to the Learning in Machines and Brains Program: an international competition recognizing excellence in research and leadership. He is an internationally-recognized expert on Deep Learning, receiving research funding from industry and government, including Amazon, Google and Huawei and a highly competitive NSERC-French National Research Agency Strategic Partnerships Grant. He has presented his research at a variety of institutions, including Carnegie Mellon University, University of California San Diego, the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics, the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Google, and Apple. Professor Taylor has trained more than 45 students and staff members since appointment and advised many organizations internationally.