Lane receives Sense of Wonder Group professorship in AI systems

Alexandra George

Dec 10, 2018

The phrase “artificial intelligence” often elicits different responses, from excitement to caution, to inspiration. When thinking about the potential it has to help people both now and in the future, it can also evoke a sense of wonder. How can we use AI and all of its parts to solve some of the world’s biggest problems?

AI researchers, like electrical and computer engineering associate professor Ian Lane, ask this question daily. To celebrate this sense of curiosity and innovation, Lane has received the Sense of Wonder Group professorship of electrical and computer engineering in AI systems. The professorship, made possible through the generous support of The Sense of Wonder Group, celebrates the curiosity and awe provoked by exploring solutions to complex problems.

The Sense of Wonder Group develops artificial intelligence technology, such as conversational AI for business applications, with a spirit of curiosity and inquiry toward the unknown and the sense of being inspired by the extraordinary. Lane’s own work in this area incorporates this spirit of inquiry by focusing on the intersection of language, artificial intelligence, and hardware technologies. He developed speech recognition technology that more intuitively interacts with humans by distinguishing between multiple speakers and using computer vision to understand hand gestures.

He has made core contributions to the areas of speech recognition, spoken language understanding, and situated interaction. He leads the AI Systems Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley and with his students has obtained numerous patents, research awards, and best paper awards for their work. Before joining Carnegie Mellon University, Lane was a research scientist at the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International in Kyoto, Japan. He received his doctorate from Kyoto University in 2006.

Lane co-founded the CUDA Center of Excellence at Carnegie Mellon University, which has helped with fundamental research in GPU-accelerated artificial intelligence. He also founded the College of Engineering GPU-cluster at the Super Computer Center in Pittsburgh. In addition to his academic work, Lane is also an entrepreneur who has founded and contributed to multiple Silicon Valley startups such as Capio, a speech recognition technology company. Lane is the first CMU-SV professor to receive an endowed chair.

The advances in conversational AI made by Lane and others at Carnegie Mellon are part of rich history of speech recognition and natural language understanding work pioneered at Carnegie Mellon over the past 50 years. Researchers with the curiosity of Lane will continue to push the boundaries of machine intelligence and conversational AI for the future.