Siddharth Srivastava plans new AI symposium

A small robot wields a knife and attempts to chop a red tomato

Siddharth Srivastava, an associate professor in the School of Computing and Augmented Intelligence, or SCAI, has co-organized the AAAI 2024 Spring Symposium that will be held from March 25 to March 27 at Stanford University in California.

Working with industry partners at Meta AI and the research and development team from Toyota Motor of North America, as well as with SCAI doctoral student Pulkit Verma, Srivastava has created a program called, “User-Aligned Assessment of Adaptive AI Systems.”

It seeks to address the key issue that, today, users of widely differing technical abilities are increasingly interacting with artificial intelligence and engineers designing new technology must consider how to address the safety concerns of all kinds of laypeople.

The issue of safety in the creation of new artificial intelligence is an often under-discussed area. Speakers and attendees of the symposium will consider how AI-enabled devices can maintain compliance with safety standards and protect user privacy.

“We need more research on a new, emerging class of computational problems in AI — how to enable third-party and user-driven assessment of AI systems that can learn and plan,” Srivastava says. “This symposium serves to highlight these new aspects of AI research and emerging perspectives for addressing them.”

Srivastava notes that many AI-enabled devices are unique in that they must be programmed without a lot of advanced knowledge of the specific ways in which they can or will be used. For example, a robot capable of doing household chores must be able to operate in many different kinds of homes and adapt on the fly as humans make changes to their living environment. Engineers must design artificial intelligence systems that can keep people and property safe without being able to see each home or know exactly what each person will do in their living space.

Invited speakers at the symposium include UC San Diego Professor Kamalika Chaudhuri, who also works as a research scientist for Meta AI, Cadence Founders Chair Professor Sanjit Seshia from the University of California, Berkley and AAAI Senior Member and University of Texas Professor Sriraam Natarajan, who will help shed light on innovative approaches and offer diverse perspectives on safety problems.

Srivastava will give a talk called, “Safety Beyond Verification: The Need for Continual, User-Driven Assessment of AI Systems.”

“My talk is intended to serve as a discussion piece highlighting some of the new open problems and promising approaches for addressing them,” he says.

Srivastava’s work in organizing the conference is part of SCAI’s ongoing commitment to its leadership role in creating new forms of artificial intelligence and thinking about the societal impacts of AI. He looks forward to a great event.

He says, “We’re bringing together an excellent team of experts and rising researchers from areas that connect deeply with our topics of interest, including AI and formal methods.”