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March 10, 2019

Benefits, unintended consequences of neural networks discussed

Karachi

March 10, 2019

Karachi University’s first two-day International Conference on Information Science and Communication Technology 2019 kicked off on Saturday with the objective to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers, scholars and industries to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of information science and communication technology.

The conference also aimed to

provide a premier interdisciplinary platform for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the fields of information science and communication technology.

One of the keynote speakers, Professor Dr Jonathan Andrew Ware, faculty of Computing Engineering and Science, University of South Wales, United Kingdom, discussed the neural networks, a brief history and futuristic glance.

He informed the audience that neural networks are one of a suite of artificial intelligence techniques that have helped project artificial intelligence to the forefront of computational development.

“The neural networks are an attempt to do things with a computer in a similar way to which our brain does things.”

However, he mentioned, while neural networks have been applied successfully to help solve a wide range of real-world problems, their use has generated a reasonable amount of controversy.

He shared that they are in essence a black box in nature and when utilised with big data sources that are not always representative of the complete picture can result in unintended consequences.

Professor Andrew, who has main research interest in the application of AI techniques to help solve real world problems, also shed lights on innovative and dynamic initiative aimed at stimulating interest in computing and its cognate disciplines amongst young people.

He also discussed strong and weak AI with the audience and described strong AI as AI’s first generation of researchers firmly believed their techniques would lead to real, human-like intelligence in machines.

He termed weak AI as aims to focus on finding solutions for specific individual problems, rather than artificial general intelligence. This approach is really about “applied AI”.

He also shared that today, faster computers, with more memory, can help analyse much more complex in real-time. “The image processing that we have looked at is achieved using algorithms. An algorithm is a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end.”

Professor Andrew further said that now we have much bigger data sets and also have much faster processors so the basic idea has not changed. “Faster computers, with more memory, and more sophisticated techniques, mean we can do even more complex processing.”

Another keynote speaker, Dr Paulo P Monteiro, University of Aveiro, Portugal, highlighted the topic of joint of reflectometry and communication systems for beyond 5G.

He mentioned that the explosive growth of data traffic couple with the explosion in the number of reflectometry systems (including Radars and LiDARs) foreseen for the coming years will provide new challenges.

“Apart from the cost and size reduction, and improved spectrum efficiency, the integration of both technologies brings further benefits.” He elaborated that the communication domain complements the Radar/LiDAR domain information to enable the formation of higher resolution scene imagery, and the reflectometry domain is instrumental for the establishment, coordination and maintenance of a high capacity communication link through the effective use of the space domain.

A distinguished national professor, Dr Bhawani Shanker Chowdhry, while talking about taking the lead for living in the digital age perfection, said that unlike other great innovations that propelled humankind to greater heights, the internet, combined with advances in computational powers, has profoundly altered human behaviours.

“We live in a connected world where new technologies are bringing benefits to all of us in academia, teaching, research, industrial applications, agriculture, as individuals, communities, businesses and so on.”

He narrated that use of social media based to stay in touch can have a major impact on revolution and all that came with it -- the internet and connected devices -- is arguably the most disruptive technological shift in human history.

The conference co-chair and chair of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Karachi Section, Dr Mohammad Shahid Shaikh, observed that young students and practitioners would get maximum advantage from the two-day event as the leading local and international experts were sharing their lifetime experiences with them.

“I believe that this Conference will provide a platform to share thoughts, exchange ideas and to collectively figure out a way to chart our journey forward for even greater contributions to the society.”

The Chairman Department of Computer Science, KU, and Conference Secretary, Dr Muhammad Sadiq Ali Khan, during his welcome address shared with the audience that over 220 research papers from 14 countries were received for the conference of which more than 45 research papers were shortlisted and presented during two days.

“We have planned this event to make Karachi a place where academics and researchers from all over the world come to meet and discuss the developments of their discipline and present their work.”

The former in-charge, Department of Computer Science, KU, Dr Badar Sami, while delivering the vote of thanks at the end of first session of the inaugural ceremony, advised the young bright minds of the future to discuss their questions with experts and try to avail the opportunity to discuss latest trends in the field with foreign experts so that they could get an idea what the world is demanding today.

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