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SPSU to host scientist who headed development of IBM’s Watson on Oct. 25

David A. Ferrucci

OCT. 18, 2013 – SPSU’s School of Computing and Software Engineering (CSE) will host a presentation by award-winning scientist Dr. David A. Ferrucci on “Artificial Intelligence (AI): The Present and the Future” at 10:30 a.m. on Fri., Oct. 25, in Room 202 of the Engineering Technology Center.

Dr. Ferrucci worked at IBM Research for nearly 20 years, building and leading a team of more than 40 researchers and software engineers specializing in AI. He is most widely known for directing this team in winning a challenge issued by the producers of the television show “Jeopardy” to create an intelligent computer system that could rival human champions at the game of Jeopardy.

After four years of intense research and development, the team’s creation, called Watson, beat the highest-ranked “Jeopardy” champion of all time on national television in February 2011. That same year, Dr. Ferrucci was named an IBM fellow.

He later demonstrated how Watson could change the role of technology in healthcare and has since moved on to explore AI applications in macroeconomics and self-governing management systems. He will talk about his experiences on the Watson project during his presentation.

In 2011, Dr. Ferrucci received the CME Group Melamed-Arditti Innovation Award, which honors individuals and groups whose innovative ideas, products or services create significant change to markets, commerce or trade.

“I am very pleased that Dr. Ferrucci has accepted an invitation to speak at SPSU,” said CSE Dean Han Reichgelt. “One of the strategic goals of the School of Computing and Software Engineering is to raise the visibility of computing and CSE in the community, and hosting a speaker as prominent as Dr. Ferrucci will help us get closer to that goal.”