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AI and the New Information Age: Dan Russell

May 29 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

*This talk is hybrid (in-person & remote). Capacity is limited. Please register ahead of time.

About 40 Years of Chasing Users Down Rabbit Holes: Lessons Learned in Human-System Research

For the past four decades, my research in people and AI-systems has been guided by a fundamental principle: understanding how people actually interact with complex systems, not just how we think they might. This talk delves into my journey exploring various research methodologies – quantitative, qualitative, and observational – to illuminate real-world human behavior with intelligent systems. Through analyzing past successes and failures, I will unveil key lessons learned at the fascinating intersection of human experience and the use of sophisticated technology. (TLDR: 1. Reality vs. expectations. 2. Power of diverse methods. 3. Learn from success and failure. 4. The landscape is evolving now, faster than ever.)

About the Speaker

Dr. Daniel M. Russell has been working in Artificial Intelligence and Human-Computer Interaction for nearly 40 years. He has worked at several of the top technology invention companies in Silicon Valley (Google, Apple, Xerox, IBM) and has been at the forefront of many of their innovations. He currently teaches in the Human-AI group at Stanford’s Computer Science department, and was in the core search engineering team at Google for over 17 years. He has written over 200 technical articles for professional journals as well many articles for the popular press. His most recent book, The Joy of Search: A Google Insider’s Guide to Going Beyond the Basics, is now out in paperback. He has taught over 1,000 in-person classes in venues ranging from 4th grade classes to professional classes for reference librarians at the Library of Congress. He has been on the faculty at Stanford, the University of Maryland, the University of Zürich and serves on multiple boards of information schools. His online classes have been watched by millions of students for an accumulated watch-time of greater than 450 years.

About AI and the New Information Age

In 2019, GPT-2 could not reliably count to ten. Only four years later, deep learning systems can write software, generate photorealistic scenes on demand, advise on intellectual topics, and combine language and image processing to steer robots. As AI developers scale these systems, unforeseen abilities and behaviors emerge spontaneously without explicit programming. Progress in AI has been swift and, to many, surprising.

  Managing AI Risks in an Era of Rapid Progress, Bengio, Hinton, et al. 

Along with rapid advancements in AI research, there are increasing concerns. Many concerns stem from a growing disconnect between the technology-centric approach to the creation of AI technologies and their inextricable embedding into complex personal, social, and cultural contexts. The theme of the Spring 2024 Design@Large is AI and the New Information Age. A primary focus is designing information spaces, places that foster thinking, in this new information age.


May 29
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Tags:


Design and Innovation Building
Room 208


The Design Lab
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