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“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
The velocity of technological developments during Einstein’s lifetime was of grave concern to him. The promise of atomic energy had turned into a nightmare of annihilation. The speed at which technology changes and advances today is staggering and should cause us pause as well. Einstein cautioned us to align and inform tech innovations with our values, our humanity, and our wisdom: “The human spirit must prevail over technology,” he said. For our final polymathic pizza in our fall series on the Permanence of Change, we will be joined by Engineering Professor Shrikanth Narayanan to consider where technological advances have outpaced our ethical sensibilities and how we might right the ship for our future. We need all hands (all majors) on deck for this conversation!
Shrikanth Narayanan, Professor and Niki and Max Nikias Chair in Engineering
Shrikanth Narayanan received his M.S., Engineer, and Ph.D., all in electrical engineering, from UCLA in 1990, 1992, and 1995, respectively, and his bachelor of engineering in electrical engineering from the College of Engineering, Guindy (Chennai, India) in 1988. From 1995-2000 he was with AT&T Labs-Research, Florham Park and AT&T Bell Labs, Murray Hill. Currently, he is a Professor at the Signal and Image Processing Institute of USC's Electrical & Computer Engineering department and holds joint appointments as Professor in Computer Science, Linguistics, Psychology, Neuroscience, Pediatrics and Otolaryngology-Head, and Neck Surgery. He is also the inaugural director of the Ming Hsieh Institute and a Research Director for the Information Sciences Institute at USC. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA), the Association for Psychological Science (APS), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). His research interests are in signals and systems modeling with an interdisciplinary emphasis on speech, audio, language, multimodal and biomedical problems and applications with direct societal relevance. His research and inventions have led to technology commercialization including through startups he co-founded: Behavioral Signals Technologies focused on the telecommunication services and AI-based conversational assistance industry and Lyssn focused on mental health care delivery, treatment and quality assurance.