Happy Valley talking about the transformative power of AI


By: Emily Babinchak

“The idea of machines outsmarting humans has long been the subject of science fiction. Rapid improvements in artificial intelligence programs over the past decade have led some experts to conclude that science fiction could soon become fact. On March 19th Jensen Huang, the chief executive of Nvidia, the world’s biggest manufacturer of computer chips and its third most valuable publicly traded company, said he believed today’s models could advance to the point of so-called artificial general intelligence (agi) within five years.

Mr. Huang did set out a clear definition of what he believes would constitute agi: a program that can do 8% better than most people at certain tests, such as bar exams for lawyers or logic quizzes.”

The Economist, March 28, 2024, How to define artificial general intelligence

Penn State’s first AI Week

The inaugural Penn State AI Week is underway now and open to the entire university community, with in-person and virtual events across campuses.

“Our first AI week offers something for everyone in the Penn State community,” said David Hunter, director of the AI Hub. “Various academic departments, the AI centers and other key groups involved in AI and AI research have come together to plan a robust series of virtual and in-person sessions across Penn State’s campuses.”

Daily highlights throughout the remainder of the week:

  • Wednesday includes four research and exploration sessions with Microsoft, offered in-person at University Park and virtually.
  • Thursday offers a morning session with Intel and afternoon sessions with Nvidia and the AIMI March Madness Hackathon finals at Penn State Harrisburg.
  • Friday, the Center for Immersive Experiences will offer a full-day industry 4.0 Open House at University Park’s Pattee Library and the PSU Generative AI Programming Contest will engage student teams to use AI tools to solve programming challenges. The contest is open to all majors and undergraduate students from all Penn State Campuses.

“I hope students, faculty and staff across our campuses will take advantage of at least one opportunity during AI Week to explore the impact of AI on education, research and industry,” Hunter said.

View a full list of AI Week events and activities here.

CBICC’s Voices of Business talks AI

The CBICC’s recent Voices of Business luncheon served as a platform for panelists Daren Coudriet, Director of the Nittany AI Alliance and Entrepreneur in Residence, and Brad Zdenek, Director of Economic Development and Student Programs at Invent Penn State, to share their insights and experiences on AI in Business. From boosting student achievement in higher education to promoting economic development and societal change, they offered glimpses into its transformation potential.

Coudriet brought his expertise in guiding organizations through the ever-evolving landscape of disruptive technologies. He is a key figure in encouraging innovation and strategic alliances at Penn State, having dedicated his professional life to utilizing and adjusting to change. He enables students to participate in project-based, hands-on learning experiences through the Nittany AI Alliance, leveraging AI and machine learning to improve student achievement in higher education. Zdenek is also driving AI initiatives within the university community. Under his direction, students have created 51 MVPs (minimum viable products) and over 114 prototypes, all of which use AI to solve significant issues facing the modern world.

In case you missed the CBICC luncheon, the panelists shared these tips on ways to use AI effectively:

  1. Focus on Core Concepts: Define learning objectives and prioritize key concepts, using AI to distill essential information for efficient learning.
  2. Clarify Terms: Simplify complex concepts by asking AI for clear explanations, enhancing comprehension and retention.
  3. Weigh Options: Seek AI assistance in decision-making by analyzing pros and cons, exploring alternative options aligned with your goals.
  4. Consult AI Expertise: Tap into AI's vast knowledge base by asking targeted questions, gaining tailored insights and recommendations.
  5. Structure Learning: Utilize AI to design organized learning plans, accessing curated resources and step-by-step guidance.
  6. Research Aid: Expedite research efforts with AI-driven assistance, identifying relevant studies and synthesizing insights from vast information repositories.
  7. Practice and Assess: AI-generated practice questions and tests can be used to reinforce learning and promote skill mastery and ongoing progress.

For more information about AI Week, visit https://ai.psu.edu/


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