Talks & Seminars
Search - The New Turing Test
Dr. Ashok K. Chandra, General Manager, Microsoft Search Labs, San Francisco
Date & Time: October 10, 2007 10:00
Venue: F. C. Kohli Auditorium, 01st Floor, Kanwal Rekhi Building
The Turing Test, devised almost 60 years ago, asked whether computers could mimic humans in general purpose written communication. We are quite far from solving the Turing Test, but for the first time humans are communicating with computers to solve arbitrary needs. I will argue that solving this problem itself is a Grand Challenge worth at least $1 Trillion. In this talk I will cover some of the challenges involved, including a few of the systems problems in building the world-wide-computer for this task.

At the end of this talk, I will talk about ICORE - how some scientists in India and the US are working to raise the level of research in India.
Speaker Profile:
Dr. Ashok Chandra is a General Manager at Microsoft, building new technologies and next-generation products for web search. Earlier, as director of computer science department at IBM's Almaden Research Center, he managed a world class team of two hundred researchers, who made great scientific advances, and also built major products for IBM, including the new database system (DB2 UDB), the Trackpoint device in IBM's Thinkpad laptops, and several storage management products. He also established a major center in Human Computer Interaction at Almaden. Between IBM and his current job, he has served as interim CEO of a startup in software lifecycle management (Speedev), and as Sr. V.P. at Verity, an enterprise search company, where he had responsibility for all products, and also started a research division.

His personal research career spans many areas in Computer Science where he has made seminal contributions spanning over 60 published papers, including the invention of Alternation (in complexity theory), Computable Queries and Conjunctive Queries (in database research), self-testing chips that check themselves, and more. Ashok is an IEEE fellow. He founded the Bay Area Research Directors council (BARD) of CTOs and Research Directors of top Silicon Valley companies. He served as chairman of numerous IEEE and ACM conferences, and founded the IEEE LICS conference. And, he was influential in setting up IBM's Research Center at IIT Delhi in 1998. More recently, he has founded ICORE to help raise the level of research in India. He received his PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University, an MS from U.C. Berkeley, and a B. Tech. from IIT Kanpur in India, where he was awarded the prestigious President's Gold Medal, and subsequently, the Distinguished Alumni Award.

He has a wife and two children, enjoys skiing, hiking, playing bridge, and visiting new places.
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