October 5th Meeting: AI and Astronomy

We are pleased to have Dr. Satya Nitta, an expert on nanotechnology and artificial intelligence speak on AI and Astronomy at 7:30 pm at the Lienhard Hall 3rd floor conference room, Pace University, Pleasantville. Free and open to the public.

The AI Revolution and its Applications to Astronomy

The recent re-emergence of the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) from a long period of dormancy (commonly referred to as the AI winter), promises to transform several fields of human endeavor and change our relationship with computing in a profound manner. Using current approaches to AI, which are mostly based in probabilistic and statistical techniques, recent advances have demonstrated that computers can achieve close to a human level recognition of speech as well as images and a better than human level ability to understand language and answer questions, among other things. While these are deeply impressive feats that seem to hint at a future where machines may have better than human levels of intelligence, the reality is far more prosaic. In this talk, Satya Nitta will introduce the field of AI broadly, explore the current state of the art, discuss the limitations of the field and contrast AI capabilities with those displayed by biological intelligence. He will discuss some of the current uses of AI in astronomy today and speculate on some possible new applications in space exploration that might advance our understanding of exoplanets. He will also briefly discuss the fascinating intersection of AI and computing hardware and discuss some emerging techniques such as approximate computing that are being used in modern radio astronomy.

About Satya Nitta

Dr. Satya V. Nitta is in the midst of a hopeless lifelong love affair with science, technology and science fiction. When he isn’t spending quality time with his two daughters or forlornly dreaming of space exploration, he is busy trying to figure out how to use computing to advance humanist causes. He believes the most interesting problems are at the intersection of different fields. He is the founder and Chief Technology Officer of an AI and hardware startup company. Previously, he had an 18 year career at IBM Research where he held several leadership roles in AI and nanoelectronics at IBM’s T J Watson Research Center. He holds a Doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has over 150 patents and 40 publications to his name. He was named the IEEE ACE Innovator of the Year, one of the 50 makers and shakers of education technology worldwide and has won the IEEE Ace technology of the year award for his work on on-chip airgap interconnects.