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January 14|25 2018

The future of blurred boundaries between humans and machines is a recurrent theme in science fiction. This future is today.

Join us for two weeks of discussions, lectures, workshops, exhibitions, and cultural and recreational events that will inspire our shared vision for a brighter, human-machine future. 

Is the future human?

Sensors monitor our state, health and behavior, relaying this data to configure a digital signature that is as much part of us as our biometric traits. Fed at petabyte levels, our digital signatures allow increasingly powerful machine learning algorithms to learn from the continuous data streams we generate and anticipate our needs and behaviors as consumers. 

Machine learning algorithms can increasingly mimic the function of our brain and will soon establish a direct interface that allows for the seamless control of robots. Robots are endowed with powerful sensorial capacities in order to interact with other humans, as well as their robotic avatars, through virtual networks that may eventually replace much of our human-to-human interactions. 

While this human-machine future offers to bring about unlimited potential, it also creates risks—of losing our privacy and the social traits inherent to our human nature. We live in a world where machines are increasingly embedded in our everyday lives. Machines shape our individual identities, social interactions, and society as a whole. During the 2018 Winter Enrichment Program (WEP), we invite you to immerse yourself in a diverse and stimulating program, touching on the opportunities and risks of a future where the boundaries between machines and humans will become even more diffuse. 

 



Sunday, January 14, 2018

Art, Science and the Invention of Things That Last

Location: Building 20, Auditorium

By David Edwards

  Aesthetic Creation Aesthetic creation involves a close collaboration between discovery, invention and cultural exhibition, as well as between learning and producing value. It is typified by t ... more
Monday, January 15, 2018

Interfacing Sensors To Micro Controllers

Location: Bldg. 20 Auditorium

By Mohamed Norain

This lecture will cover the most common interface and interface techniques between sensors and microcontrollers. The presentation will introduce the pros and cons of each interface type including anal ... more
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Swarm Robotics Lecture

Location: Bldg. 9 Lecture Hall 2325 ≤ 154

By Andrew Vardy

Swarm robotics is an approach to the design of multi-robot systems, which takes inspiration from social insects such as bees and ants. These insects modify their environments by moving resources to s ... more

Finding Shark Attacks in Data Streams

Location: Bldg. 9 Lecture Hall 2322 ≤ 154

By Sebastian Steinke | Thomas Hoover

Finding Shark Attacks in Data Streams (Using Machine Learning to Detect Anomalies) In this lecture, Sebastian Steinke, a software engineer at KAUST who started to learn Machine Learning via self-dire ... more

Industry Research Teams in the Age of Intelligent Systems

Location: Bldg. 9 Lecture Hall 2325 ≤ 154

By Luis Sarmento

Make it or Break it: Industry Research Teams in the Age of Intelligent Systems In this lecture, A.I. researcher Luis Sarmento, will be focusing on a special type of research teams that are being crea ... more
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Golden Ratio and Art

Location: Al-Khawarizmi East (Bldg 1), Visualization Core Lab (MPR 2418)

By Al Khwarizmi Group

This lecture is an explanation of the Knowing How to See Exhibition and will be presented by Al-Khawizmi group, in particular by Professor Gabriel C. Wittum (CEMSE) and Andrea Baczynski (KAUST photogr ... more
Thursday, January 18, 2018

Movability or Autonomy for Humans

Location: Bldg. 20 Auditorium

By Jeffrey Schnapp

A human-centered approach to the design of smart robotic vehicles  Contrary to the feverish promises of early 20th century futurists, the romance of the road has driven humanity down a dead end. ... more

Alumni Lecture Series

Location: Bldg. 9 Lecture Hall 2322 ≤ 154

By Fernando Cagua | Hanan Alshehri | Hussain Shibli | Laszlo Toth | Sultan Safin

Join us for the annual Alumni Lecture Series, a highlight in the University’s event calendar! We welcome the return to KAUST of five alumni who’ll present highlights from their work in bu ... more

Video Conference Lecture by Robert Langer

Location: Building 19, Level 3, Conference Hall 3

By Robert Langer

Robert Langer is an Institute Professor at MIT. His h-index of 233 is the highest of any engineer in history and he has over 1,130 issued and pending patents worldwide and his patents have licens ... more
Sunday, January 21, 2018

Human Machine Past in the House of Wisdom

Location: Bldg. 9 Lecture Hall 2322 ≤ 154

By Rebecca Mileham

Human Machine Past in the House of Wisdom: Learning for the Future A thousand years ago during Islamic civilisation, creative engineers imagined machines that both assisted and entertained ... more

Save the World with Nuclear Power

Location: Bldg. 20 Auditorium

By Leslie Dewan

Save the World with Nuclear Power   The world needs a cheap, carbon-free alternative to fossil fuels to feed its growing electricity demand. Nuclear power can be a good solution to the problem, ... more

The Iris Project Presentation

Location: WEP HUB (University Library)

By Felix Mayrl | Olivier Colin

The Iris Project, a contemporary variant of a humanistic photography The Iris highlights the infinite beauty and diversity of people all around the world, as a human prism. Two ph ... more

Measuring Online Behavioural Advertising

Location: Bldg. 9 Lecture Hall 2322 ≤ 154

By Nikolaos Laoutaris

Measuring Online Behavioural Advertising: The Tale of the Data Transparency Lab and Other Adventure In simple terms, behavioural targeting is segmentation based on customer behaviours. It provides th ... more

Golden Ratio and Art / M x M x M

Location: Bldg. 20 Auditorium

By Lukas Larisch

About this Lecture M x M x M- Music x Mathematics x Paintings: From Bach and Beethoven to the Golden Ratio and Fibonacci numbers visualized by contemporary Art M x M x M = Music x Mathematics x ... more
Monday, January 22, 2018

How AI Turned the Chess World Upside Down

Location: Bldg. 20 Auditorium

By Susan Polgar

Man vs. Machine!  In 1977 an IBM supercomputer 'Deep Blue' beat the reigning World Chess Champion Gary Kasparov in a 6 game chess match played under tournament conditions. This was the first tim ... more

The Forgotten Half of the Brain

Location: Bldg. 20 Auditorium

By Pierre Magistretti | Yves Agid

A lecture by Pierre Magistretti and Yves Agid about the forgotten half of the Brain. Yves Agid will speak in particular about the role of GLIAL cells in normal and abnormal behaviors.  We ... more

A Human Brain or a Supercomputer, Better Together?

Location: Bldg. 20 Auditorium

By David Keyes | Samar Aseeri

A human brain or a supercomputer, better together? Sunway TaihuLight is the fastest supercomputer in the world today. It can perform calculations at a rate of 93 petaFLOP/s where each 1 petaFLOP/s is ... more
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Al in Voice and Chat

Location: Bldg. 9 Lecture Hall 2325 ≤ 154

By Philipp Heltewig

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reshaping the way that humans interact with their surroundings. Scenarios that were previously in the realm of science fiction are all of a sudden becoming reality, wi ... more

Scaling Translation for a World with No Language Barriers

Location: Bldg. 9 Lecture Hall 2325 ≤ 154

By Vasco Pedro

The recent advances in Neural Machine Translation have the potential to revolutionise the way the world communicates and to eliminate language barriers. One of the main issues for any deep learning te ... more

Visualizing the Human Machine Future Lecture 1

Location: WEP HUB (University Library)

By Anastasia Khrenova | Heno Hwang | Xavier Pita

About this lecture In this presentation, research publications services will introduce how to visualize from the viewer’s perspective. You will learn how to communicate your science more effect ... more
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Intellectual Property: What is It and Why should I Care? 1/2

Location: Building 19, Level 3, Conference Hall 3

By Janis Tyhurst | Mardson Mcquay | Steven duBois

Intellectual property (IP) protection is essential to foster innovation. For the protection of important technology for commercialization, a strong and enforceable patent is required. Hence, scientist ... more

Smart City Project

Location: Bldg. 20 Auditorium

By Ayman Al Harbi

A 'smart city' is an urban region that is highly advanced in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, communications and market viability. It is a city where information technology is ... more

Intellectual Property: What is It and Why should I Care? 2/2

Location: Building 19, Level 3, Conference Hall 3

By Janis Tyhurst | Mardson Mcquay | Steven duBois

Intellectual property (IP) protection is essential to foster innovation. For the protection of important technology for commercialization, a strong and enforceable patent is required. Hence, scientist ... more

The Role of Energy in Human-Machine Relationship and its Future

Location: Bldg. 9 Lecture Hall 2322 ≤ 154

By Tadeusz Patzek

No machine can exist without energy supply, can it be fossil, mineral, renewable or human based. We will discuss how our modern societies are surrounded by machines most of us are not aware of, that m ... more

Sensing Earth Vibration with Seismic Networks

Location: Spine Auditorium between Buildings 4 & 5

By Martin Mai

How do Earth Scientists record and use seismic waves to detect earthquakes and image the Earth’ interior? The apparently “solid” ground on which we are standing continuously vibrate ... more

Visualizing the Human Machine Future Lecture 2

Location: WEP HUB (University Library)

By Anastasia Khrenova |

In this presentation, research publications services will introduce how to visualize from the viewer’s perspective. You will learn how to communicate your science more effectively through photog ... more
Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Rise of the Nanomachines

Location: Building 19, Level 3, Conference Hall 3

By Emilie Ringe | Laura Sagle | Niveen M. Khashab | Shahad AlSaiari | So-Jung Park

About this Morning Session Workshop  During this workshop five female scientists will present their findings on design, preparation, and testing of nano-sized sensing platforms. The idea ... more

When Random Matrices Meet Machine Learning

Location: Bldg. 9 Lecture Hall 2322 ≤ 154

By Jamal Najim | Romain Couillet

Today's machine learning is all about "large dimensional (p) and numerous data (n)", in sharp contrast with yesterday's "small p, large n" asymptotics paradigm. In this talk, we will show that moving ... more