Congress Keynotes

atiq21Title of talk:           Neurosymbolic Autonomy and the Quest for Smart(er) Decision-Making


Alvaro Velasquez



Abstract: Neurosymbolic Artificial Intelligence has experienced a renaissance and gained much traction in recent years as a potential “third wave” of AI to follow the tremendously successful second wave underpinned by statistical deep learning. This seeks the integration of neural learning systems and formal symbolic reasoning for more efficient, robust, and explainable AI. Such an integration holds much promise in areas like reinforcement learning and planning, where tremendous progress has been made in recent years, including great feats like the defeat of the world Go champion and powerful agents for real-time strategy games. However, the tremendous success of autonomous decision-making has highlighted its own shortcomings when it comes to data limitations, robustness, and trust, among other things. This talk presents some of these challenges and opportunities facing the development of neurosymbolic autonomy, how this differs from conventional neurosymbolic AI problems like classification and natural language processing, and potential implications to facilitating the broader adoption of autonomous solutions.

Bio: Alvaro Velasquez leads the machine intelligence sub-portfolio of investments for the Information Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in the United States. In this capacity, he manages and proposes new research directions and technology transitions for the Air Force in the fields of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems. This entails close collaboration with both the academic and private sectors. Alvaro received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida and holds an interdisciplinary research record, including publications in artificial intelligence, combinatorial optimization, networking, cloud computing, and logic and circuit design. Alvaro is a recipient of numerous awards, including the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) award, the University of Central Florida 30 Under 30 award, and best paper and patent awards from AFRL. He serves as Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Artificial Intelligence and his research is currently funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.



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