Coffee shop banter – Symbolic or Deep Learning? Promising directions of AI

Join us for a Coffee shop banter with our speakers as they approach melding neural and symbolic reasoning which is emerging as a hot topic in the AI community. With the huge recent growth in neural methods and AI's deep roots insymbolic approaches, we want to foster this conversation.

Isn’t any current deep neural network also a symbolic system programmed on a computer? Isn’t the brain a rather analogous system that is able to produce symbols? But what about communication? Our explicit knowledge and languagesconsist of symbols. Or is the solution to go for hybrid models, featuring both deep and symbolic models? We will explore these questions and the questions from the general audience in the discussion.

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Prof. Kristian Kersting

FEurAI, FELLIS, Professor, TU Darmstadt, Germany

Co-Director of the Hessian Center for AI (hessian.AI)

Prof. Kristian Kersting is Professor at TU Darmstadt and Co-Director of the Hessian Center for AI and ML. After receiving his Ph.D. from U. Freiburg in 2006, he was with MIT, Fraunhofer IAIS, U. Bonn, and TU Dortmund. His main research interests are (deep) probabilistic programming and learning. Kristian has published over 170 peer-reviewed articles. He is an EurAI Fellow, an ELLIS Fellow and received the inaugural German AI Award (Deutscher KI-Preis) 2019, as well as several paper awards (TPM 2019, AIIDE 2015, ECML 2006) and the EurAI Dissertation Award 2006. Kristian has been on the (senior) PC of major AI/ML conferences (e.g. AAAI, ICML, IJCAI, NeurIPS, ICLR, and CVPR) and co-chaired the PC of ECML PKDD.

Prof. Sriraam Natarajan

Professor and Director, Center for ML, UT Dallas, USA

RBCDSAI Distinguished Fellow, IIT Madras

Prof. Sriraam Natarajan is Professor at UT Dallas, Director, Center for ML and RBCDSAI Distinguished Fellow - IIT Madras. He was previously an Associate Professor and earlier an Assistant Professor at Indiana University, Wake Forest School of Medicine, a post-doctoral research associate at University of Wisconsin-Madison and had graduated with his PhD from Oregon State University. His research interests lie in the field of Artificial Intelligence, with emphasis on Machine Learning, Statistical Relational Learning and AI, Reinforcement Learning, Graphical Models and Biomedical Applications. He has received the Young Investigator award from US Army Research Office, Amazon Faculty Research Award, Intel Faculty Award, XEROX Faculty Award, Verisk Faculty Award and the IU trustees Teaching Award from Indiana University. He is the program co-chair of SDM 2020 and ACM CoDS-COMAD 2020 conferences. He is the specialty chief editor of Frontiers in ML and AI journal, an editorial board member of MLJ, JAIR and DAMI journals and is the electronics publishing editor of JAIR.