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Shepherd University President’s Lecture Series kicks off with lecture on artificial intelligence

By Staff | Sep 27, 2019

Pictured (l. to r) are Ben Martz, dean, College of Business; Karen Rice, director, Lifelong Learning; Distinguished Chair of Applied Business and Finance at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology Jay Liebowitz; and Mary J.C. Hendrix, Shepherd president at the Shepherd University President's Lecture Series on Sept. 16. Courtesy photo

SHEPHERDSTOWN — The President’s Lecture Series at Shepherd University kicked off its fall season with a lecture by Distinguished Chair of Applied Business and Finance at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology Jay Liebowitz in the Robert C. Byrd Center on Sept. 16.

Liebowitz, who has guest lectured at Shepherd University before, talked about what the future of artificial intelligence might look like in the lecture, “How AI, Analytics and IoT Will Affect Your Lives.”

“Welcome to the first of three President’s Lecture Series events for this semester,” said Shepherd University College of Business Dean Ben Martz, as he welcomed Liebowitz to the stage. “We’re going to learn some interesting things about drones today.”

According to Liebowitz, coming back to Shepherd University felt like returning home.

“It’s great to be back here at Shepherd. I feel like part of the family — I taught one course during the summer a couple of years ago, here at Shepherd,” Liebowitz said, mentioning he has also led a couple of workshops at Shepherd on artificial intelligence. “It’s an honor to be part of your distinguished lecture series, and I’m pleased to get it kicked off.

“What I hope to do, is make you a little more aware of these emerging technology areas that are affecting each and every one of your lives,” Liebowitz said, before joking, “My wife says I don’t have much practical intelligence, so I decided to study artificial intelligence instead.”

According to Liebowitz, many countries around the world are putting a lot of money behind AI research, as they anticipate AI being the next most influential technological advance.

“When we think what’s happening in the United States and worldwide, we can see the businesses making technological advances,” Liebowitz said, mentioning the field of AI was founded in 1956. “Worldwide, every country is investing in AI, but China is leading the pack in investing in AI, because it wants to be the leader of artificial intelligence in the future.”

Liebowitz then explained how AI is connected to IoT, or the Internet of Things.

“The Internet of Things is the extension of internet devices into everyday items,” Liebowitz said. “Worldwide, right now, over 25 billion devices are connected to the internet. By 2025, they estimate that number will be 75 billion.

“A lot of fascinating work is being done with artificial intelligence — it is being used in drones, to identify when water and other systems are being used for food production,” Liebowitz said, mentioning this advance could help aid in the fight against world hunger. “Another area where AI is already being used, is in wearable digital applications that can be used for healthcare. In September 2018, Apple Watch was the first device that could detect falls, alert Emergency Medical Services and included a medical-grade heart monitor,” Liebowitz said. “We’re even seeing artificial intelligence being used in clothing to test one’s health. You’re seeing many of the sports apparel companies, including Nike and Under Armor, being involved in making smart clothing.

“You’ll see more of this in the future, but there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done. I also anticipate synergies to develop between these technologies,” Liebowitz said. “Enough testing needs to be done. We need to hope that this will make us more responsible.”