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Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and other luminaries warn that an "intelligence explosion" may lead to the extinction of humanity at the hands of rampant robots. At the same time, many pundits see a prosperous future in which self-driving cars reduce highway fatalities, while AI advisors improve medical care and minimize malpractice. In this talk, Daniel S. Weld argues that the utopian outcome is more likely, but only if we address several key social and technical challenges.

Weld is the Thomas J. Cable / WRF Professor of Computer Science & Engineering and Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellow at the University of Washington. After formative education at Phillips Academy, he received bachelor's degrees in both Computer Science and Biochemistry at Yale University in 1982. He landed a Ph.D. from the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab in 1988, received a Presidential Young Investigator's award in 1989, an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator's award in 1990, was named AAAI Fellow in 1999 and deemed ACM Fellow in 2005. Dan was a founding editor for the Journal of AI Research, was area editor for the Journal of the ACM, guest editor for Computational Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence. He co-founded Netbot Incorporated,, AdRelevance, and data integration company Nimble Technology.