Apr 16

The Societal Impacts of Algorithmic Decision-Making

11:40 AM to 12:40 PM

Zoom link of the talk will be distributed using the colloquium mailing list -

Manish Raghavan, Cornell University

Algorithms and AI systems are used to make decisions about people in a variety of contexts, including lending, hiring, and healthcare. Algorithms provide the potential to make consistent and scalable decisions, but they also introduce a number of new challenges. Researchers and domain experts have raised concerns over issues including fairness, accountability, and transparency, which has led to a fast-growing field of research in these subjects.

In this talk, I'll discuss my efforts to develop principles for the responsible development and deployment of algorithmic decision-making systems. I'll provide an overview of the types of societal impacts and values implicated when algorithms are used to make consequential decisions. Situating these issues in contexts like criminal justice and employment, I'll explore how technical tools can help us better understand normative goals like fairness, counteract human biases in decision-making, and reason about the legal and policy implications of AI systems.

Apr 19

Conversational AI – Advances, Challenges and Opportunities

2:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Register here -

Prem Natarajan, Amazon

Tremendous progress has been made in conversational AI since the launch of Alexa in November 2014. Deep learning enabled advances in transfer learning and semi-supervised learning have enabled us to scale quickly to new languages, domains, and features. Nevertheless, this is still very much Day 1 for conversational AI with a whole world of challenges and opportunities in front of us – from multimodality, self-learning, user-driven teaching, and so much more. Redeeming the full potential of these opportunities will require the efforts of the top talent in industry and academia. In his presentation, Dr. Prem Natarajan will review some of the salient advances of the past few years, discuss some of the key forward-looking scientific challenges and opportunities, and the role of benchmarks such as the Alexa Prize in driving change. He will conclude with a brief look at the work being done at the Columbia Center for AI Technologies which was established in collaboration with Amazon.

Dean Mary Boyce will give introductory remarks. Following the lecture, Dr. Natarajan will have a brief one-on-one conversation with CAIT Director, Prof. Shih-Fu Chang, on the exciting direction of the field of Artificial Intelligence.

Dr. Prem Natarajan is a Vice President in the Alexa organization where he leads a multidisciplinary science, engineering, and product organization responsible for advancing the state-of-the-art in conversational AI technologies including natural language understanding, intelligent dialog and decision systems, entity linking and resolution, computer vision, and for associated worldwide runtime operations. In his previous roles at the University of Southern California and at Raytheon BBN Technologies, Dr. Natarajan directed nationally influential research and development efforts in speech recognition, natural language understanding, computer vision, and related areas in machine learning. Most recently, at Amazon, he helped launch the Fairness in AI (FAI) program – a collaborative effort between NSF and Amazon for funding fairness-focused research efforts in US universities.

Apr 30

Commencement 2021

10:30 AM to 12:00 PM

University Commencement
Join the virtual global watch party and celebrate the Class of 2021 -

SEAS Class Day information

Virtual Graduation Kit

May 04

Female Faculty Focus - Shuran Song

5:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Shuran Song

Join Columbia & Barnard faculty as they speak about their journeys to computer science!