Ram Narayanan serves as expert panelist for AI discussion

December 13, 2022

By Sarah Small

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Ram Narayanan, professor of electrical engineering in the Penn State School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, served as an expert panelist for a virtual discussion of the topic “What’s the next big question in artificial intelligence?” The panel was hosted by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) on Nov. 8 and was broadcast via Zoom to more than 500 attendees around the world.

Narayanan was one of five experts on the panel, which was moderated by two scientists from AFOSR. Each expert had up to seven minutes to present their ideas regarding artificial intelligence (AI) advancements, followed by discussion. The Zoom attendees were then invited to ask questions.

Narayanan proposed that the next big question in AI will be, “How can we learn to avoid information glut from big data?” Narayanan said that with advances in data processors and storage devices, sensors — the components that pull useful information in an AI system — have too much data to process or be useful.

“Rather than worrying about ‘big data,’ sensors should instead focus on ‘smart data’ — in other words, defining the questions they need answered, then collecting and analyzing only that data which will serve them in answering the question,” Narayanan said.

The conversation was part of an ongoing series of two-hour sessions hosted by AFOSR with thought leaders.


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