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Ken Goldberg      

William S. Floyd Jr. Distinguished Chair in Engineering at UC Berkeley College of Engineering

Ken Goldberg is an artist and UC Berkeley professor. He and his students investigate robotics, automation, art, and social media. Ken is Director of the People and Robots Initiative (a CITRIS multicampus multidisciplinary research program established in April 2015) and UC Berkeley's Automation Sciences Research Lab (since 1995). Ken earned dual degrees in Electrical Engineering and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania (1984) and MS and PhD degrees from Carnegie Mellon University (1990). He joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1995 where he is Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (IEOR), with secondary appointments in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science (EECS), Art Practice, the School of Information, and in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the UCSF Medical School.

Ken has published over 200 peer-reviewed technical papers on algorithms for robotics, automation, and social information filtering; his inventions have been awarded eight US Patents. He is Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE), Co-Founder of the Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM), the African Robotics Network (AFRON), the Center for Automation and Learning for Medical Robotics (CAL-MR), the CITRIS Data and Democracy Initiative (DDI), Hybrid Wisdom Labs, and Moxie Institute.

Ken's art installations are related to his research and have been exhibited at venues including the Whitney Biennial, Berkeley Art Museum, SF Contemporary Jewish Museum, Pompidou Center, Buenos Aires Biennial, and the ICC in Tokyo. Ken co-wrote three award-winning Sundance documentary films, "The Tribe", "Yelp", and "Connected: An Autoblogography of Love, Death, and Technology" and co-directed the Emmy-Nominated Short Doc "Why We Love Robots." Ken's artwork is represented by the Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco and he is Founding Director of UC Berkeley's Art, Technology, and Culture Lecture Series (since 1997).

Ken was awarded the Presidential Faculty Fellowship in 1995 by Bill Clinton, the National Science Foundation Faculty Fellowship in 1994, the Joseph Engelberger Robotics Award in 2000, and elected IEEE Fellow in 2005.

Speech Topics


Putting the Turing into ManufacTuring: Recent Developments in Algorithmic Automation

Automation for manufacturing today is where computer technology was in the early 1960's, a patchwork of ad-hoc solutions lacking a rigorous scientific methodology. CAD provides detailed models of part geometry. What's missing is formal models of part behavior and frameworks for the systematic design of automated systems that can feed, assemble, and inspect parts. "Algorithmic Automation" introduces abstractions that allow the functionality of automation to be designed independent of the underlying implementation and can provide the foundation for formal specification and analysis, algorithmic design, and consistency checking.

The Future of Brainstorming

To brainstorm at the scale of social media, we can use techniques from an unlikely source: Robotics. Goldberg presents recent results on social innovation and collective brainstorming work with the U.S. State Department, General Motors, and the State of California.

Cultivating the Uncanny: Art, Fear, and Fascination with Technology

Engineers, animators, and designers apply the concept of the Uncanny Valley to technologies from AI to Robots to Siri. In 1919, a year before the word “robot” was coined, Sigmund Freud published an influential essay tracing the concept of the Uncanny back to the Renaissance. Goldberg illustrates this history with art that explores the shifting borders between the digital and the natural, including his Emmy-nominated short doc film that explores our collective fear and fascination with robots, the most human of our machines.

Robots with Their Heads in the Clouds

The next generation of robots will be more social than solitary. Rather than viewing every robot as an isolated system with limited computation and memory, roboticists are now exploring how robots and automation systems can actively exchange information and resources via networks. Building on emerging advances in cloud computing, big data, open-source, and the Internet of Things, this paradigm has potential to significantly increase the capabilities of robots and automation systems.

Multiplicity has More Potential Than Singularity

"Multiplicity" describes an emerging category of systems where diverse groups of humans work together with diverse groups of machines to solve difficult problems. Multiplicity combines ideas from machine learning, the wisdom of crowds, and cloud computing. Multiplicity is not science fiction; it’s central to systems we use everday: Google, Twitter, Salesforce, Netflix, Siri, and Uber.

Musk vs. Zuck: Are AI and Robots a Threat...or an Opportunity?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has surpassed humans at Jeopardy and Go, and driverless cars are widely believed to be around the corner. News articles claim we’re on the brink of a "Singularity" where robots will steal 50% of our jobs. Are AI and Robots an existential threat to humans as Elon Musk warns? Or is Mark Zuckerberg right in stating that humans have many good years ahead? "Automation Anxiety" has a long history, with widespread pronouncements about the imminent loss of jobs to Automation in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1980s. Drawing on his experience as a robotics and AI research expert, Goldberg explores these issues in three parts: 1) What Isn’t New, 2) What Is New, and 3), How We Can Prepare. Ultimately, Goldberg reveals how new innovations will empower humans, not replace them, revealing the potential for new trends such as "Cloud Robotics", and "Multiplicity".

Brainstorming At A Global Scale

To brainstorm at the scale of social media, we can use techniques from an unlikely source: Robotics. Goldberg presents recent results on social innovation and collective brainstorming work with the U.S. State Department, General Motors, and the State of California.

News


Ken Goldberg makes surgical robots that can learn

Engineer and artist Ken Goldberg talks about the future of cloud-educated robots as well as his current work developing surgical robots that can learn in a recent interview with Humans Invent. Goldberg thinks that robots will be able to learn by drawing on information stored in the cloud, saying “just in the same way as humans as a species are getting smarter because we are able to share information much quicker and build on innovations faster, robots have that potential as well.”

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