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Protecting Human Users from Misused AI

CS@CU Distinguished Lecture Series – Ben Y. Zhao

Recent developments in machine learning and artificial intelligence have taken nearly everyone by surprise. The arrival of arguably the most transformative wave of AI did not bring us smart cities full of self-driving cars, or robots that do our laundry and mow our lawns. Instead, it brought us over-confident token predictors that hallucinate, deepfake generators that produce realistic images and video, and ubiquitous surveillance. In this talk, I’ll describe some of our recent efforts to warn, and later defend against some of the darker side of AI. In particular, I will tell the story of how our efforts to disrupt unauthorized facial recognition models led unexpectedly to Glaze, a tool to defend human artists against art mimicry by generative image models. I will share some of the ups and downs of implementing and deploying an adversarial ML tool to a global user base, and reflect on mistakes and lessons learned.

Ben Zhao is a Neubauer Professor of Computer Science at the University of Chicago. He completed his Ph.D. at U.C. Berkeley (2004), and B.S. from Yale (1997). He is a Fellow of the ACM, and a recipient of the NSF CAREER award, MIT Technology Review’s TR-35 Award (Young Innovators Under 35), USENIX Internet Defense Prize, ComputerWorld Magazine’s Top 40 Tech Innovators award, IEEE ITC Early Career Award, and Faculty awards from Google, Amazon, and Facebook. His work has been covered by media outlets including New York Times, CNN, NBC, BBC, MIT Tech Review, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and New Scientist. He has published over 180 articles in areas of security and privacy, machine learning, networking, and HCI. He served as TPC (co-)chair for the World Wide Web conference (WWW 2016) and ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC 2018). He also serves on the steering committee for HotNets.

Event Contact Information:
Daniel Hsu


Oct 09 2023


11:40 am - 12:40 pm

Formats (virtual, in person, hybrid)



Columbia University - Department of Computer Science
500 W. 120th St., New York, New York 10027


Columbia University
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