“Genius Makers”: A Conversation w/ Cade Metz & Yann LeCun

On Friday, April 9, CDS sat down with New York Times reporter Cade Metz and CDS Founder and Professor of Computer Science, Neural Science, Data Science, and Electrical and Computer Engineering Yann LeCun to discuss Metz’ new book, Genius Makers: The Mavericks Who Brought AI to Google, Facebook, and the World. Hosted by CDS Director Julia Kempe, and moderated by CDS & Courant CS Research Professor Michael Picheny, the conversation was joined by over 100 attendees, both inside and outside the NYU community.

Picheny centered the lively discussion around four key areas: (1) Retrospective Questions about AI Development, (2) the Current Status of AI, (3) Social issues that have been created by the recent success of AI, and (4) Future Directions. Questions probed the origin of Metz’ book and LeCun’s interest in AI, as well as LeCun’s reaction to being featured prominently in Metz’ book (“I don’t see anything wrong in the book — which is great, it’s a great compliment coming from me! I think it puts a searchlight on one aspect which is … industry oriented a little bit, and there’s another aspect which is more the research.”)

The conversation veered as well into the power and potential risks of AI, where we are on specific technology like self-driving cars, and mitigating bias in technology. The conversation concluded on the future of AI education, moving from high level research emphasis to broader access to younger students — even as young as elementary school aged children, and the necessity of educating the next generation to the rapid changes in AI technology and development.

For more information on Metz’s book, please visit Penguin Random House. A recording of the conversation may be viewed in full on the CDS website at here (use passcode: GeniusMakers_04/09)

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