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57 minutes | Jun 5, 2021
Mike Lesk: Data Scientist OG - 47th Conversation
Rutgers Professor Michael Lesk talks to Michael and Dave about everything from computing and information retrieval in the 1960s, to railroad signaling and recognizing giraffes, to the difference between astronomers and computer scientists, to Colonial Pipeline and the real AI challenge. [Title image courtesy of Mike Lesk]
54 minutes | May 1, 2021
Closing Triangles with Tina Eliassi-Rad - 46th Conversation
Professor Tina Eliassi-Rad of Northeastern's Network Science Institute talks with Michael and Dave about topics ranging from graph structures and machine learning to AI ethics and the nature of democracy. [Title image courtesy of Tina Eliassi-Rad]
46 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
Glum About Tech - 45th Conversation
Dave is feeling glum about technology -- and by extension about the impacts of computer science, the exploitation of science in general, and the hope for sustainability and truth in society. Michael helps sort it all out.
52 minutes | Feb 1, 2021
Computing Penguins with Heather Lynch - 44th Conversation
Michael and Dave talk to Heather J. Lynch, Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook University, about awards and leaving physics, about saving penguins and the planet, and more.
56 minutes | Jan 2, 2021
Heather Lane Beyond Academia - 43rd Conversation
Heather Lane, machine learning researcher and senior architect at athenahealth, joins Dave and Michael in a talk of many things, of the thermodynamics of life, of the US healthcare industry and life after academia, of coming out as transgender.
61 minutes | Dec 1, 2020
Fil Menczer: From Artificial Life To Social Bots - 42nd Conversation
Fil Menczer, professor and director of the Observatory on Social Media at Indiana University, joined Michael and Dave on the day after the 2020 USA presidential election. Fil revealed how his 1990s Artificial Life research set the stage for his current work, focusing not just on the facts of disinformation and hoaxes and conspiracy theories and social bots, but also how to identify and fight them. [Title image based on photograph licensed CC BY-SA 3.0 by Tracey Theriault]
51 minutes | Nov 1, 2020
Jeff Bigham: Humanizing AI - 41st Conversation
Jeff Bigham, an Associate Professor at Carnegie-Mellon's Human-Computer Interaction Institute, joins Michael and Dave in a wide-ranging discussion of human-computer interactions, AI threats and opportunities, and systems and organizations made of both computers and humans. [Episode transcript (PDF)] [Cover photo courtesy of Jeff Bigham]
43 minutes | Oct 6, 2020
The Reward Function and the Structure of Meaning - 40th conversation
Michael and Dave discuss the meaning of the reward function, and its consequences for AI and human society.
45 minutes | Sep 6, 2020
Entering Hyperspace - 39th Conversation
Dave tries to explain his "We are coders" approach to cognition to Michael, as part of developing the second lecture in the "Introduction to Classical Hyperspace" series. First lecture
61 minutes | Aug 1, 2020
Channeling Hari Seldon for Safer and Fairer AI - Computing Up 38th Conversation
Computer scientists Emma Brunskill of Stanford and Phil Thomas of UMass Amherst join Michael and Dave in a four-way discussion of safety and fairness in AI and machine learning. [The primary paper discussed, Preventing undesirable behavior of intelligent machines, is by Philip S. Thomas, Bruno Castro da Silva, Andrew G. Barto, Stephen Giguere, Yuriy Brun, and Emma Brunskill, and can be accessed for free via paper in Science ]
54 minutes | Jul 6, 2020
Jenna Burrell Has Some Thoughts - Computing Up 37th Conversation
Michael and Dave talk with UC Berkeley sociologist Jenna Burrell about topics ranging from algorithmic fairness and transparency, to anthropology and epistemology, to viral tweets and why small is beautiful. [Title image courtesy of Jenna Burrell]
44 minutes | Jun 7, 2020
Cranky About Theory - Computing Up 36th conversation
Dave hates theory. Michael disagrees.
42 minutes | May 3, 2020
Catching up with Peter Winkler - Computing Up 35th conversation
Michael and Dave talk with mathematician, computer scientist, and puzzle maker Peter Winkler, about topics ranging from randomness to free will, and combinatorics to Sleeping Beauty, and John Horton Conway to Erdős number 1. And don't miss the bonus puzzle! Conway's (first) Princeton Lecture [Title photo courtesy of Peter Winkler]
39 minutes | Apr 1, 2020
Artificial Death - Computing Up 34th Conversation
Michael and Dave talk about pandemic models and simulation journalism, programming languages, and what people really want. Washington Post's simulator is here
56 minutes | Mar 1, 2020
The Multilevel Michael Frank - Computing Up 33rd Conversation
Michael and Dave talk to Brown University neuroscientist Michael J Frank about topics from brains and minds, to engineering and machine learning, to dopamine and Parkinson's disease and New Age woo.
55 minutes | Feb 1, 2020
Melanie Moses Scales Up - Computing Up 32nd Conversation
Computer scientist and biologist Melanie Moses joins Michael and Dave in a conversation ranging from biology nerds vs computing nerds to the future of justice in the United States, with a whole lot of scaling along the way.
48 minutes | Dec 31, 2019
Michael Carbin Computes the Winning Ticket & More - Computing Up 31st Conversation
Michael Carbin, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, joins Michael and Dave to discuss neural net lottery tickets, computing with uncertainty and more. [Cover photo courtesy of Michael Carbin]
44 minutes | Nov 30, 2019
Zander Furnas on Politics as Computation - Computing Up Thirtieth Conversation
Zander Furnas helps Dave get a clue about political science, in theory and in practice -- from authoritarianism to democracy, and from Congressional staffer's incentives to Elizabeth Warren's plan for lobbyists, and whether there's hope for society after all. [Background image by www.GAUPERphoto.com used by permission of Zander Furnas]
40 minutes | Nov 2, 2019
Living Computation and Society - Computing Up Twenty-Ninth Conversation
Dave and Michael revisit the meaning of life (the subject of the second Computing Up conversation) in the context of politics and society and human destiny. [Photo by Jeffrey Lee on Unsplash]
36 minutes | Sep 30, 2019
Theories of Theories of Everything - Computing Up Twenty-Eighth Conversation
Inspired by a WIRED profile of Karl Friston, Dave and Michael talk about theories of everything, and theories thereof. [WIRED Article: https://www.wired.com/story/karl-friston-free-energy-principle-artificial-intelligence/ ]
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