Oct. 29, 2002

Frankenstein and the future of artificial intelligence is the focus of a community forum at the Tompkins County Library, Nov. 7

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Communitywide and Cornell University Frankenstein reading-and-discussion activities continue Thursday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. at the Tompkins County Public Library with a special community forum. The focus of this fun and informative event will be artificial intelligence and its practical applications. A panel with a wide range of expertise will provide comments on the issue, and panel members will take questions from the audience.

The forum, which is free and open to the public, should be of interest to students from middle school and up, and it will feature:

Michael Babish , a graduate of Cornell with a master's degree in computer science and the team leader for the 2000, 2001 and 2002 Cornell RoboCup championship robotic-soccer teams. RoboCup was created to foster research in robotics and artificial intelligence. Competitors design small robots that operate as a team, using vision systems enabling the robots to detect the ball and distinguish between their own players and their opponents in competitive matches.

Lillian Lee , Cornell associate professor in computer science, who works in the area of natural language processing, focusing on "knowledge-lean" methods for automatically learning linguistic knowledge from essentially raw text. Her previous work has explored automatic word clustering and word similarity determination.

Hod Lipson , Cornell associate professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering. Prior to moving to Ithaca in 2001, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Brandeis University's computer science department, working on evolutionary computation and robotics, where he led the Golem Project, creating the first physical artificial life forms.

Bob Walters , technology education teacher and department head at DeWitt Middle School in Ithaca. Walters advises students who compete in the National Technology Student Association Conference and has led breakthrough work in the public school system in a number of areas, ranging from computer applications to solar power.

The Nov. 7 forum will be moderated by Gary Stewart, assistant director of community relations at Cornell. For more information, phone (607) 255-4908 or e-mail gjs28@cornell.edu .