Past Events

On this page you can find video recordings of some past UBC events of interest to Electrical and Computer Engineering students.

Artificial Moral Agency and the New Control Problem – Dr. Marcus Arvan


September 16th, 2021

There are broadly two possible ways to attempt to create ‘ethical machines.’ On the one hand, we may create ‘Artificial Moral Slaves’: non-sentient machines that execute moral rules or principles without understanding these things in anything like the way that humans do. On the other hand, we might create true Artificial Moral Agents: sentient machines who do understand moral rules or principles like we do. 

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Robots that Rapidly Adapt to Diverse Tasks and Environments – Deepak Pathak, Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University


July 28th, 2021

How can we train a robot that can generalize to perform thousands of tasks in thousands of environments? We posit that this generalization ability is only possible if the robot can learn continually and adapt rapidly to new situations. In this talk, Dr. Pathak presents early efforts in this direction by decoupling the general goal into two sub-problems: 1) generalization to new environments for the same task and 2) generalization to new tasks in the same environment. He discusses how these sub-problems can be combined to build a framework for general-purpose embodied intelligence.

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Ethics Sheets for AI Tasks and a Case Study for Automatic Emotion Recognition – Dr. Saif M. Mohammad

UBC Language Sciences

July 15th, 2021

As NLP and ML systems become more ubiquitous, their broad societal impacts are receiving more scrutiny than ever before. Several high-profile events have highlighted how technology will often lead to more adverse outcomes for those that are already marginalized. This raises some uncomfortable questions for us as researchers: What are the hidden assumptions in our research? What are the unsaid implications of our choices? Are we perpetuating and amplifying inequities or are we striking at the barriers to opportunity?

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Ex Machina Film Screening and Q&A – Dr. Murray Shanahan

UBC Language Sciences

June 8th, 2021

Dr. Shanahan was a scientific advisor on the 2015 film Ex Machina, and is author of book ‘Embodiment and the Inner Life: Cognition and Consciousness in the Space of Possible Minds’ which helped inspire the movie. UBC Computer Science professors Joanna McGrenere and Dongwook Yoon host a Q&A with Dr. Shanahan discussing the role of conversational AI agents, the nature of consciousness and AI, and more.

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Literature Review Workshop for ECE Graduate Students

UBC Electrical and Computer Engineering

January 2021

This workshop discusses the ins and outs of literature reviews in graduate school.

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