Guest lecture at Media Lab DA seminar: Timo Honkela

Welcome to the seminar lecture 8th December from 17:00 at Miestentie:


by Timo Honkela, University of Helsinki

Invention of linguistic communication, symbolic representation, writing and printing have been important steps in human cultural evolution. Computers and networks have have enabled further developments. During the past fifty years human knowledge and skills have progressed increasingly with the help of computers. The knowledge and skills of digital systems have been usually limited by the knowledge and imagination of humans. There are exceptions to this and they are increasing because of the use of machine learning, evolutionary algorithms and other adaptive systems, growing amount of open data, and computational resources becoming close to human capacities. Clear risks related to these developments. For instance, large proportion of professions will be taken over by computers and robots. This is, however, a limited problem if the development leads into improved understanding of our societies and decision making, improved mutual understanding, and better use of resources. This kind of cultural evolution can lead into very beneficial developments. We can discuss what kind of design-in-the-large is needed to reach such a positive track.

It may be fair to say that professor Timo Honkela has unusually wide scientific and work experience. He has served as a professor earlier in the University of Art and Design Helsinki, Media Lab and Helsinki University of Technology, Laboratory of Information and Computer Science and currently at the University of Helsinki, Department of Modern Languages. Honkela’s research and development work has covered since 1980s areas such as natural language processing, artificial neural networks, participatory media art, visual information retrieval, text mining, socio-cognitive modeling, and analysis of complex societal phenomena.