Princeton’s Forward Fest — a virtual public conversation series and a monthly highlight of the University’s yearlong A Year of Forward Thinking community engagement campaign — focused on the promise and peril of data science and artificial intelligence on Nov. 20, 2020. The live event highlighted how the University’s “forward thinkers” are using interdisciplinary research, teaching and scholarship for real-world impact. Faculty members across a variety of disciplines participated in the live discussion which concluded with a lively Q&A period.
Brad Smith ’81, the president of Microsoft, served as moderator for the live discussion with three faculty panelists:
Matthew Salganik, professor of sociology and director of the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton, spoke on the robust applications of data science within the social sciences as well as his recent work on predictive modeling of life outcomes and what it has to say about the benefits and limitations of recent computational developments.
Mona Singh, professor of computer science and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, discussed how interdisciplinary work using advancing computational techniques is unlocking some of the most pressing questions in the biological sciences.
Elad Hazan, professor of computer science, co-director of Google AI at Princeton and a 2006 Princeton graduate alumnus, spoke about the potential breakthroughs in a variety of fields made possible through collaboration between higher education and industry.
Nicholas Johnson, valedictorian of the Class of 2020, provided welcoming remarks.