Invited Talks and Presentations

Using Machine Learning to Predict Startup Success

May 01, 2019

Talk, Ruhlman Conference, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA

What makes a startup successful? Is it the uniqueness of their product? Their founders’ educational backgrounds? The number of employees they hire? In an age where entrepreneurship is becoming exceedingly popular, it becomes more and more difficult for venture capitalists to sort through all these factors and determine if companies they invest in will become successful. In collaboration with Glasswing Ventures, a Boston-based VC firm founded by Wellesley alum Rudina Seseri (‘00), this project uses machine learning to estimate the likelihood of an early, seed-stage startup successfully closing a Series A funding round and to determine the criteria relevant to startup success. Using data collected from CrunchBase and LinkedIn, this presentation will focus on the use of social information to conclude whether or not founders’ backgrounds significantly impact the future of their companies.

Artificial Intelligence: From Fiction to Reality

May 02, 2018

Talk, Ruhlman Conference, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA

In our spring ’18 course, CS 232 Artificial Intelligence, we are directing our critical gaze at the depiction of artificial intelligence (AI) in fiction, with a series of interconnected goals and from different disciplinary perspectives. We start by looking at how AI in fiction inspired and influenced our current technologies, explaining how these technologies work and exploring their possible impact on the future world. We contemplate what it means to have thinking machines with the possibility of consciousness. Using the technology and stories presented in the TV show Black Mirror, we consider the ethics of using (and abusing) AI as well as its reflection on our society. We also present a video piece on how we gender, racialize, and sexualize AI in real life and media. In an age where technology has such a huge impact on our lives, we must ask ourselves, who is in control?