Distinguished Visiting Professor, Tsinghua University, China
Artificial Intelligence (AI): Past, Present and Future
Dr. C. Mohan is currently a Distinguished Professor of Science at Hong Kong Baptist University, a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University in China, and a member of the inaugural Board of Governors of Digital University Kerala. He retired in June 2020 from being an IBM Fellow at the IBM Almaden Research Center in Silicon Valley. He was an IBM researcher for 38.5 years in the database, blockchain, AI and related areas, impacting numerous IBM and non-IBM products, the research and academic communities, and standards, especially with his invention of the well-known ARIES family of database locking and recovery algorithms, and the Presumed Abort distributed commit protocol. This IBM (1997-2020), ACM (2002-) and IEEE (2002-) Fellow has also served as the IBM India Chief Scientist (2006-2009). In addition to receiving the ACM SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovations Award (1996), the VLDB 10 Year Best Paper Award (1999) and numerous IBM awards, Mohan was elected to the United States and Indian National Academies of Engineering (2009), and named an IBM Master Inventor (1997). This Distinguished Alumnus of IIT Madras (1977) received his PhD at the University of Texas at Austin (1981). He is an inventor of 50 patents.
During the last many years, he focused on Blockchain, AI, Big Data and Cloud technologies (https://bit.ly/sigBcP, https://bit.ly/CMoTalks). Since 2017, he has been an evangelist of permissioned blockchains and the myth buster of permissionless blockchains. During 1H2021, Mohan was the Shaw Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore. In 2019, he became an Honorary Advisor to the Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency. In 2020, he joined the Advisory Board of the Kerala Blockchain Academy. Since 2016, Mohan has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor of China’s prestigious Tsinghua University. In 2023, he was named Distinguished Professor of Science of Hong Kong Baptist University. In 2021, he was inducted as a member of the inaugural Board of Governors of the new Indian university Digital University Kerala. Mohan has served on the advisory board of IEEE Spectrum, and on numerous conference and journal boards. During most of 2022, he was a consultant at Google with the title of Visiting Researcher. He has also been a Consultant to the Microsoft Data Team in 2020. Mohan is a frequent speaker in North America, Europe and Asia. He has given talks in 43 countries. He is highly active on social media and has a huge network of followers. More information can be found in the Wikipedia page at https://bit.ly/CMwIkP and his homepage at https://bit.ly/CMoDUK.
Ever since the conduct of the historically famous 1956 Dartmouth Summer Workshop, which has come to be regarded as the birthplace of the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), significant amount of progress has been made in AI with intermittent periods of intense activity. Topics of focus for research and development have varied over the last 6 decades. Unfortunately, during that time, many promises and disappointments have also been associated with AI. Developments in related areas of computer science (e.g., hardware and big data) have also been significantly responsible for the recent renewed momentum behind AI. As progress is made, while numerous benefits of AI are anticipated, many apprehensions have also arisen with respect to the societal impact of AI. Of late, there is also the widespread tendency to equate AI to just machine learning and that is incorrect! Even more recently, ChatGPT and similar systems based on Large Language Models (LLMs) have become topics of intense speculation. In this talk, first I will survey some of the historical AI developments and then focus on the current areas of investigations across academia and industry. Then, I will briefly touch on the remaining areas of exploration for more positive outcomes to emerge from the adoption of AI technologies in major segments of society at large. Some of the ongoing work in my former workplace, IBM, will also be discussed. Both software and hardware developments will be covered. I will also briefly touch upon on-going AI work in Asia (e.g., China, India), Europe and USA. Even people outside of computer science will be able to appreciate this talk.