Apr 1, 2022 • 1HR 8M

"Curves and Categories: Machine Learning, AI, and the Nature of Classification"

A guest lecture by Dr. Scott Hawley

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Listen to audio version of study center essays as well as lectures and talks.

On March 17th, we had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Scott Hawley of Belmont University at the Study Center for a talk titled “Curves and Categories: Machine Learning, AI, and the Nature of Classification.”

Dr. Hawley is a Professor of Physics at Belmont, and his research interests include machine learning, neural networks, and the ethics of A.I. He joined us to explore the fascinating and complex nature of classification and what it reveals about intelligence, human and machine.

“Machine learning classification techniques,” Dr. Hawley explained,

are increasingly applied to fields as diverse as biology, astronomy, the humanities, law, medicine, the entertainment industry, criminal justice, library science, aesthetics, robotics, and more, in an effort to automate human decision-making on massive scales. The problematic socio-political ramifications of this enterprise are becoming increasingly evident, and merit a closer examination of the philosophies and methods of classification from their origins in antiquity up to present large-scale A.I. systems.

During the talk, Dr. Hawley made extensive use of slides and you can view those here while you listen. You can also follow Dr. Hawley on Twitter @drscotthawley.