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Robotics Debate: Rise of the Robo-Sitters!

October 12, 2021 10:00am EST



The robot revolution is already here! Some groups are already working on robot companions for children that makes use of AI. Robotic companions for our elderly population have already been in development for a number of years. During this session, we will debate whether or not, we as a society, are ready, and if we will ever be, to leave our family members in the care of robots.


The debate will be moderated by Amber Mac and will feature Dr. Tara Javidi (UC San Diego), Dr. Gregory Dudek (McGill University, Samsung), Dr. Amy Wu (Ingenuity Labs), and Dr. Sidney Givigi (Ingenuity Labs)!



Debate Panel


Dr. Tara Javidi is a Professor with the Electrical and Computer Engineering department and the Halicioğlu Data Science Institute at the University of California, San Diego.

She is also Co-Founding Director of the Center for Machine-Integrated Computing and Security as well as Co-Founder of Soter AI.

In 2018, she received the Qualcomm Faculty Award for her contributions to wireless technology. Her research involves stochastic analysis, design, and control of information collection, processing, and transfer in modern network systems.

Dr. Gregory Dudek is a chaired professor of computer science at McGill University and VP Research and Lead at the Samsung AI Centre in Montreal (SAIC – Montreal).

He is also the Scientific Director (Lead PI) of the NSERC Canadian Robotics Network (NCRN), Canada’s only national-scale robotics research consortium.  He is also a James McGill Chaired Professor, an award that recognizes a senior scholar’s outstanding, original, and internationally recognized leadership in his or her field.

A member of the McGill Centre for Intelligent Machines (CIM), Dr. Dudek is also Co-Director of the Mobile Robotics Laboratory which explores the use and understanding of sensor data through computer vision and machine learning, as well as decision-making in uncertain environments with a focus on the development of underwater and amphibious robots.

Dr. Amy R. Wu (Mitchell Professor in Bio-Inspired Robotics and Ingenuity Labs faculty member) is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, where she is the head of the Biomechanics x Robotics Laboratory (BxRL).

Her research interests are at the intersection of human biomechanics and robotics with the aim of augmenting human mobility. She is interested in utilizing a first-principles approach to understand the mechanics and energetics of human movement and to apply those principles to robots.

Dr. Sidney Givigi (Ingenuity Labs faculty member) is an associate professor in the School of Computing and leads the Autonomous Robots Research Group.

His research is in the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning to autonomous vehicles with a focus on autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles.

Two participants will debate that we are ready for the robo-sitters while the other two participants will debate that we are not. Each debater will be allotted 5 minutes for their opening statements followed by 20 minutes of rebuttals. The debate will close with a Q&A session from the audience.


Please stay tuned for announcements regarding our debate panel, they will be some of the leading voices in robotics and AI research.