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ECE Distinguished Colloquium Series (ECE 500): "Humans, Machines, and Work: The Future is Now"

Originating Calendar ECE ILLINOIS Distinguished Colloquium Series
Speaker Professor Moshe Vardi, Rice University
Date: 9/14/2017
Time: 4 p.m.

Grainger Auditorium, Room 1002 ECE Building

Event Contact:

Professor Sayan Mitra



Event Type: Seminar/Symposium

Automation, driven by technological progress, has been increasing inexorably for the past several decades. Two schools of economic thinking have for many years been engaged in a debate about the potential effects of automation on jobs: will new technology spawn mass unemployment, as the robots take jobs away from humans? Or will the jobs robots take over create demand for new human jobs?

I will present data that demonstrate that the concerns about automation are valid. In fact, technology has been hurting working Americans for the past 40 years. The discussion about humans, machines and work tends to be a discussion about some undetermined point in the far future. But it is time to face reality. The future is now.

Moshe Y. Vardi is the Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor of Computational Engineering and Director of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology at Rice University. He chaired the Computer Science Department at Rice University from January 1994 till June 2002. Prior to joining Rice in 1993, he was at the IBM Almaden Research Center, where he managed the Mathematics and Related Computer Science Department. His research interests include database systems, computational-complexity theory, multi-agent systems, and design specification and verification. Vardi received his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1981. He is the author and co-author of over 500 articles, as well as two books, "Reasoning about Knowledge" and "Finite Model Theory and Its Applications", and the editor of several collections.

Vardi is the recipient of numerous awards, including three IBM Outstanding Innovation Awards, the 2000 Goedel Prize, the 2005 ACM Kanellakis Award for Theory and Practice, the 2006 LICS Test-of-Time Award, the 2008 ACM PODS Mendelzon Test-of-Time Award, the 2008 ACM SIGMOD Codd Innovations Award, the 2008 Blaise pascal Medal for Computer Science by the European Academy of Sciences, the 2008 ACM Presidential Award, the 2010 CRA Distinguished Service Award, the 2010 ACM Outstanding Contribution Award, the 2011 IEEE Computer Society Harry H. Goode Award, the 2012 EATCS Distinguished Achievements Award, and the Southeastern Universities Research Association's 2013 Distinguished Scientist Award, and the 2017 ACM Presidential Award. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Saarland, Germany, the University of Orleans in France, UFRGS in Brazil, and the University of Liege in Belgium. Vardi is an editor of several international journals, and senior-Editor of the Communication of ACM, having served for a decade as Editor-in-Chief. He is Guggenheim Fellow, as well as a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science, and the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Science, the European Academy of Sciences, and the Academia Europaea.

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