Silicon Valley lawyer talks about A.I. opportunities

Atty. Paul Alpern, Vice President and General Counsel of Wave Computing, Inc., presented a lecture about the potential of artificial intelligence (A.I.) and machine learning and opportunities in the Philippines on October 2, 2017 at the School of Architecture, Fine Arts and Design (SAFAD) Theater, University of San Carlos–Talamban Campus.

Wave Computing, Inc., while not a common name among technology-savvy companies in the Philippines, is a machine learning or artificial intelligence startup company based in Campbell, California, U.S.A. Alpern is the company’s internal lead for legal and regulatory matters affecting Wave’s corporate, business development, sales, technology, intellectual property and other transactions.

According to Alpern, A.I. is already used in many products and services in the U.S., for example Siri and Alexa are a couple of major A.I. platforms known to the public. Other niche applications include real-time machine translation of one language to another using a smartphone camera. Inter-species translation, i.e., analyzing breathing and movement patterns of pets and then giving an equivalent human meaning, was another application of A.I. presented during the seminar. Alpern showed the audience several videos of seemingly impossible tasks if they were done by humans, but were possible for A.I.

Machine learning and A.I. has been pushed by “big data.” The Internet has provided huge amounts of data covering just about everything, from search terms used by teenagers to hiring patterns of companies from a job sourcing website. Big data can be analyzed for insights that can be used by companies for different purposes such as targeted product marketing, development strategies, and market trend analysis. The sheer volume of data cannot be analyzed by conventional means, i.e., human or computer-powered, hence the need for A.I.

Alpern also expressed his belief in the ingenuity and technical capacity of the Filipino people. The lecture was a guide of sorts for Filipinos to join the rest of the world in pursuing A.I., ending with an insightful open forum. Participants from local industries and students asked about topics that ranged from the fear of A.I. taking over jobs, whether A.I. is here to stay or just a bubble waiting to burst, and where to begin learning technical skills needed to develop A.I. programs.

by Engr. Michael James Cañete (Department of Computer Engineering)

Tags: Events, Engineering

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