National Science Foundation                    CCNY PRISM Lecture Series on        The City College of New York  
Computer Vision, Robotics and Human-Computer Interaction 

TITLE:  Crowd Agents: A Top-Down Approach to Truly Intelligent Systems


Professor Jeffrey P. Bigham

Human-Computer Interaction and Language Technologies Institutes

School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Location: NAC 6/113, The City College of New York

Time:  12:15 pm - 1:15 pm,

Date: March 10th, 2014

Over the past few years, I have been developing and deploying interactive crowd-powered systems that solve characteristic “hard” problems to help people get things done in their everyday lives. For instance, VizWiz answers visual questions for blind people in less than a minute, Legion drives robots in response to natural language commands, Chorus holds helpful conversations with human partners, and Scribe converts streaming speech to text in less than five seconds.

The future envisioned by my research is one in which the intelligent systems that we have dreamed about for decades, which have inspired generations of computer scientists from its beginning, are brought about for the benefit of people. My work illustrates a path for achieving this vision by leveraging the on-demand labor of people to fill in for components that we cannot currently automate, and by building frameworks that allow groups to do together what even expert individuals cannot do alone. A crowd-powered world may seem counter to the goals of computer science, but I believe that it is precisely by creating and deploying the systems of our dreams that will learn how to advance computer science to create the machines that will someday realize them.

Jeffrey P. Bigham is an Associate Professor in the Human-Computer Interaction and Language Technologies Institutes in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He uses clever combinations of crowds and computation to build truly intelligent systems, often with a focus on systems supporting people with disabilities. Dr. Bigham received his B.S.E degree in Computer Science from Princeton University in 2003, and received his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington in 2009. From 2009 to 2013, he was an Assistant Professor at the University of Rochester, where he founded the ROC HCI human-computer interaction research group. He has been a Visiting Researcher at MIT CSAIL and Microsoft Research. He has received a number of awards for his work, including the MIT Technology Review Top 35 Innovators Under 35 Award, the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award.

The PRISM lecture series is supported by two NSF grants (CNS-0424539 and CNS-0551598) and the funding from the Grove School of Engineering (GSoE) for establishing the Center for Perceptual Robotics, Intelligent Sensors and Machines (PRISM center) at the CCNY. We invite world-renowned researchers and prominent young scholars in the fields of robotics, computer vision, machine learning, distributed systems, human-computer interaction, and wireless communication, to give lectures in the areas of their expertise. The Lecture series has been proven very effective in stimulating students’ interest, fostering collaboration between CCNY and other universities, and increasing the visibility of CCNY research. The PRISM lectures are open to any faculty, researchers, or students within or outside of CCNY and CUNY.