Stefano Ermon: 2017 Plenary Session


Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Location: McCaw Hall, Arrillaga Alumni Center

"Artificial Intelligence for Sustainability"



Recent technological developments are creating new spatio-temporal data streams that contain a wealth of information relevant to sustainable development goals. Modern AI techniques have the potential to yield accurate, inexpensive, and highly scalable models to inform research and policy. As a first example, I will present a machine learning method we developed to predict and map poverty in developing countries. Our method can reliably predict economic well-being using only high-resolution satellite imagery. Because images are passively collected in every corner of the world, our method can provide timely and accurate measurements in a very scalable end economic way, and could revolutionize efforts towards global poverty eradication. As a second example, I will present some ongoing work on monitoring food security outcomes.


Stefano Ermon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University, where he is affiliated with the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Woods Institute for the Environment. Stefano's research is centered on techniques for scalable and accurate inference in graphical models, statistical modeling of data, large-scale combinatorial optimization, and robust decision making under uncertainty, and is motivated by a range of applications, in particular ones in the emerging field of computational sustainability.