Dr. Anna Patterson Delivers Talk Focused On Trends in AI as Part of the Array of Talks Series

By Sandra Dieron, PR Assistant, Computer Science 

In collaboration with the College of Creative Studies, the Computer Science department was proud to invite Dr. Anna Patterson to share her perspective as an entrepreneur and speak about trends in AI on April 22, 2019 as the seventeenth talk in the Array of Talks lecture series.

Dr. Patterson gave her talk titled, “Trends in AI: Insights by a Curious and Passionate Entrepreneur,” to a group of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty members.

Dr. Yekaterina (Kate) Kharitonova, a professor in the CS department at UCSB, was in attendance for the talk and found Dr. Patterson’s message that “data needs to be treated like a first-class citizen” very relevant. Kharitonova remarked that she “really enjoyed seeing the highlights of various recent advancements in AI, which included an impressive newscaster dubbing, a generation of street views for games and virtual reality, and an art piece created by a generative Adversarial Network that got sold at an auction.”

Jake Guida, CS Peer Advisor and member of the CS Undergraduate Affairs Committee, also attended Dr. Patterson’s talk. Jake commented that an interesting point Dr. Patterson made was that creativity is going to be redefined due to the increase in machine-produced works of art. Dr. Patterson showed several examples of AI-produced musical scores and paintings to illustrate her point to the audience. When questioned about how the upward trend of AI-produced art will affect creative competition within the art industry, Dr. Patterson suggested that AI will initially not challenge artists, but collaborate with them to produce work to a higher level at quicker speeds. Reflecting on the talk, Jake exclaimed, “Dr. Patterson has made me excited to see the future creative endeavors that leverage AI, and how the idea of creativity will with this progression.”

Dr. Anna Patterson is the Managing Partner at Gradient Ventures, overseeing the fund’s global activities. Anna is an accomplished leader in the field of artificial intelligence, a serial entrepreneur, with a long history at Google. Prior to starting Gradient Ventures, Anna was Google’s Vice President of Engineering in AI - integrating AI into products across Google. She also serves on the Board of Directors at Square, Inc.

Anna co-founded Cuil, a clustering-based search engine, and wrote Recall.archive.org, the first keyword-based search engine and the largest index of the Internet Archive corpus. She wrote, “Why Writing Your Own Search Engine is Hard,” in the ACM Queue detailing this experience. Prior to that, Anna co-founded and co-authored a search engine Xift. Recognized for her technical contributions as well as her commitment to championing women in tech, Anna was awarded the Technical Leadership ABIE Award in 2016.

Anna received her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. Then, she became a Research Scientist at Stanford University in Artificial Intelligence, where she worked with Carolyn Talcott and one of the founders of AI, John McCarthy. For her undergraduate education, she double-majored in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Washington University in St Louis. Anna resides in the Bay Area, where she wrangles her 4 kids, 2 horses and her Irish husband.

Array of Talks is a lecture series organized by UCSB Computer Science undergraduates with the mission to inspire enthusiasm for Computer Science, intellectual exchange, and foster a sense of community among CS undergraduates, faculty, and professionals. Previous guest lecturers include Jim Manico, founder of Manicode Security; Maria Klawe, Member of the Board of Directors for Microsoft Corporation; and Kent Demaine, CEO of OOOii.

Thank you to the CS Undergraduate Affairs Committee (UAC) and the College of Creative Studies for collaborating with our department to bring Dr. Patterson to our campus!