CS Colloquium (BMAC)


siegel ISTeC Distinguished Lecture in conjunction with the Computer Science Department and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Seminar Series
Keeping the Internet Open with an Open-Source Virtual Assistant

Speaker: Monica Lam, Professor, Computer Science Department, Stanford University

11:00AM ~ 11:50AM, March 19, 2018

Where: Morgan Library Event Hall

Contact: Sanjay Rajopadhye ( )

Abstract:Virtual assistants, such as Alexa, Siri, and Google Home, are emerging as the super app that intermediates between users and their Iot devices and online services. As an intermediary, the virtual assistant sees all our personal data and has control over the services and vendors we use. A monopolistic virtual assistant would pose a great threat to personal privacy as well as open competition and innovation. This talk describes why the world needs an open-source virtual assistant to keep the internet open and to protect privacy. Our solution is the Stanford Almond Virtual Assistant, a research project to create the world's best open-source virtual assistant technology that protects privacy via advanced research and crowdsourcing.

Bio:Dr. Monica Lam has been a Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University since 1988. She is the Faculty Director of the Stanford MobiSocial Computing Laboratory. Her research spans the areas of architecture, compilers, distributed systems, machine learning, and human-computer interfaces. Her current research is to develop an open end-user programmable virtual assistant platform that protects users' privacy. She received a PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1987. Prof. Lam is an ACM Fellow, and a co-author of the "dragon book", the most popular textbook in compilers.