UW ECE is proud to welcome renowned computer scientist Yann LeCun, who will deliver the Department’s 2024 Lytle Lecture on Wednesday, January 24, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the UW Husky Union Building (HUB) Lyceum. LeCun is Vice President and Chief AI Scientist at Meta and a Silver Professor in the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, where he is also affiliated with the Center for Neural Science, and the electrical and computer engineering department. LeCun was the founding director of Facebook AI Research and of the NYU Center for Data Science. He is also a recipient of the 2018 ACM Turing Award, alongside Geoffrey Hinton and Yoshua Bengio, for “conceptual and engineering breakthroughs that have made deep neural networks a critical component of computing.” This lecture is free to attend and open to the public.
LeCun’s lecture will focus on objective-driven AI. In his talk, he will propose a modular cognitive architecture aimed at creating a path to developing machines that can learn, reason and plan. The centerpiece of this architecture is a predictive world model that allows the system to anticipate the consequences of its actions and to plan a sequence of actions that optimize a set of objectives. The objectives include guardrails that guarantee the system’s controllability and safety.
“We are thrilled to have Yann LeCun as our keynote speaker for the Lytle Lecture this year. He is an influential thought leader in many fields, in particular, deep learning and modern AI,” said UW ECE Professor Maryam Fazel, who co-chairs the Dean W. Lytle Electrical & Computer Engineering Endowed Lecture Series with UW ECE Affiliate Professor Henrique (Rico) Malvar.
The Dean W. Lytle Electrical & Computer Engineering Endowed Lecture Series is the Department’s premier annual event, featuring internationally renowned researchers in communications, signal processing, control systems, and machine learning. The lectureship is made possible by an endowment established in 2006, the centennial year of the Department, through fundraising efforts led by Louis Scharf (Ph.D. ‘69), a doctoral student of Professor Lytle, in collaboration with Lytle’s wife, Marilyn, and support from the Lytle family. Many members of the UW ECE community responded with generous donations to honor Professor Lytle, including his graduate students, his colleagues at Honeywell’s Marine Systems Center, as well as alumni and friends.
For more information about LeCun and to RSVP to attend the Lytle Lecture, visit the Lytle Lecture Series webpage.