Speaker: Jeff Kephart, IEEE Fellow; Member, IBM Academy of Technology
IBM Thomas J Watson Research Center
Title: Realizing the Vision of Symbiotic Cognitive Computing
Host: Holly Rushmeier
Abstract: Symbiotic Cognitive Systems (SCS) are multi-agent systems comprising both human and software agents that collectively perform cognitive tasks (such as decision-making) better than either can alone. To help realize the SCS vision, and to expose and address the attendant research and engineering challenges, we have built a Cognitive Experience Laboratory equipped with cameras, kinects, wands, microphone arrays, and other devices. Through speech and gesture, one or more individuals interact – much as they would with a human partner – with a society of software agents that perform various functions such as speech recognition, information retrieval, simulation, and decision analysis. Using multi-agent systems design principles to weave these functions together flexibly and coherently, we are creating systems that address the needs of internal and external clients in various application domains involving high-stakes decisions. I will describe a cognitive mergers and acquisitions prototype that we have built, and draw some general lessons and research challenges from our experience of designing and using it.
Bio: Jeff Kephart is a research scientist at IBM Research, known for his work on computer virus epidemiology and immune systems, electronic commerce agents, self-managing computing systems, and data center energy management. Presently, he serves as a principal investigator on a cognitive computing research project with Spain’s leading energy company, Repsol. Kephart’s research has been featured in the New York Times, Wired, Scientific American, Forbes, and comparable publications. He has co-authored over 150 papers (which have received over 17,000 citations), and over 35 issued US patents. Kephart has delivered keynotes on multi-agent visions and applications at several conferences and workshops, and led teams that have created commercial products in areas that include anti-virus technology and data center energy management. In 2013, he was awarded the rank of IEEE Fellow for his leadership and research in founding autonomic computing as an academic discipline. Kephart graduated from Princeton University with a BS in electrical engineering (engineering physics) and received his PhD from Stanford University in electrical engineering, with a minor in physics.