Victor Bahl

Technical Fellow & Chief Technology Officer, Azure for Operators

Microsoft Azure, USA

Title: Towards a Software-based Telecommunications Infrastructure: Research Challenges and Business Opportunities
Abstract: 5G has created an unprecedented opportunity for information technology startups and the established cloud industry to become a part of the next generation telecommunications infrastructure - to radically change it through softwarization, AI and edge computing. I will describe the scientific advances and business needs for bringing us to where we are today and then cast an eye to the future in sharing with the audience a vision for where things are going with telecommunications, including key enablers and potential surprises on the horizon. This will set the context for describing the opportunity ahead for the engineering and research community in the next several years, and beyond, as we stay at the forefront of the modernization that will enable ubiquitous computing via telecommunication networks propelled by innovations in the cloud and edge. I will next move into near-term strategy with Microsoft standing up of a new business division called Azure for Operators (AFO). AFO products are aimed at bringing telecommunications industry into the cloud, as an integral component of Microsoft’s global infrastructure. I will describe the motivation and vision that led to the creation of AFO, its mission, and the significant technical and scientific challenges, which when overcome will lead to the inevitable convergence of two massive industries and new opportunities for established companies, startups, universities and research institutes.

Bio: Victor Bahl is a technical fellow and chief technology officer in Microsoft’s newly formed Strategic Missions & Technologies division. Prior to this, he was the founding director of networking research in Microsoft and a member of the senior leadership team in Microsoft Research. With over 30 years of industry experience. Dr. Bahl advises Microsoft’s CEO and senior leadership team on long-term strategy related to 5G, edge computing, cloud infrastructures, networked systems, mobile computing & wireless systems. He is the original inventor of the edge computing architecture and thought leader behind Microsoft’s edge computing products. He is also the architect of the strategy that led to the creation of Azure for Operators business.
Dr. Bahl has delivered numerous foundational technologies to Azure, XBOX and Windows that span industry shaping new datacenter architectures, new networking protocols and optimizations, new network management systems and new consumer experiences. His evangelism and technical contribution and advocacy of dynamic spectrum access led to the United States FCC opening up 180 MHz of spectrum for unlicensed use. He has published over 125 papers with over 57,000 citations; he is the author/co-author of over 200 patents, and has won three test of time and four best paper awards. For his professional and research leadership he has received numerous prestigious awards including four lifetime achievement awards. He is the founder/co-founder of ACM SIGMOBILE, MobiSys, GetMobile and several other important conferences and journals. Dr. Bahl is a Fellow of ACM, IEEE, and AAAS.


James A. Landay

Computer Science Department

Stanford University, USA

Title: “AI For Good” Isn’t Good Enough: A Call for Human-Centered AI
Abstract: The growing awareness of the pervasiveness of AI’s impact on humans and societies has led to a proliferation of “AI for Good” initiatives. I argue that simply recognizing the potential impacts of AI systems is only table stakes for developing and guiding societally positive AI. Blindly applying AI techniques to a problem in an important societal area, such as healthcare, often leads to solving the wrong problem. In this talk, I will advance the idea that to be truly Human-Centered, the development of AI must change in three ways: it must be user-centered, community-centered, and societally-centered. First, user-centered design integrates well-known techniques to account for the needs and abilities of a system’s end users while rapidly improving a design through rigorous iterative user testing. Combined with creative new ideas and technologies, user-centered design helps move from designing systems that try to replicate humans to AI systems that work for humans. Second, AI systems also have impacts on communities beyond the direct users—Human-Centered AI must be community-centered and engage communities, e.g., with participatory techniques, at the earliest stages of design. Third, these impacts can reverberate at a societal level, requiring forecasting and mediating potential impacts throughout a project as well. To accomplish these three changes, successful Human-Centered AI requires the early engagement of multidisciplinary teams beyond technologists, including experts in design, the social sciences and humanities, and domains of interest such as medicine or law. In this talk I will elaborate on my argument for an authentic Human-Centered AI by showing both negative and positive examples. I will also illustrate how my own group’s research in health, wellness, and behavior change is both living up to and failing in meeting the needs of a Human-Centered AI design process.

Bio: James Landay is a Professor of Computer Science and the Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan Professor in the School of Engineering at Stanford University. He specializes in human-computer interaction. Landay is the co-founder and Associate Director of the Stanford Institute for Human-centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI). Prior to joining Stanford, Landay was a Professor of Information Science at Cornell Tech in New York City for one year and a Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington for 10 years. From 2003-2006, he also served as the Director of Intel Labs Seattle, a leading research lab that explored various aspects of ubiquitous computing. Landay was also the chief scientist and co-founder of NetRaker, which was acquired by KeyNote Systems in 2004. Before that he was an Associate Professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley. Landay received his BS in EECS from UC Berkeley in 1990, and MS and PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1993 and 1996, respectively. His PhD dissertation was the first to demonstrate the use of sketching in user interface design tools. He is a member of the ACM SIGCHI Academy and an ACM Fellow. He served for six years on the NSF CISE Advisory Committee.

Shyam Gollakota

Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering

University of Washington, USA

Title: Creating intelligent mobile systems: From melding bits and biology to democratizing healthcare
Abstract: This is an exciting time to be a wireless and mobile systems researcher where we are not only blurring the boundaries between reality and science fiction but also creating technology that can positively impact society. In this talk, I will first show how we can create futuristic technology where bits and biology meld by designing the Internet of biological and bio-inspired things. Specifically, inspired by dandelion seeds, I will present battery-free wireless sensors that can be dispersed in the wind to create a large-scale sensor network. I will also show how to integrate embedded systems with living organisms (e.g., bees) and have real-world impact by helping find the nests of invasive "murder" hornets. I will then shift gears and make a case for how our community has an incredible opportunity to thoughtfully impact society by creating intelligent mobile systems that democratize healthcare. I will provide examples where we can use smartphones and smart speakers to detect sleep apnea, opioid overdoses, irregular heart rhythms and cardiac arrests by running software on devices that already exist in millions of homes. Finally, I will demonstrate how mobile technology has the potential to bring healthcare to millions of people in middle and low-income countries by creating screening tools for ear infections, new-born hearing loss as well as performing blood clot testing at a fraction of the cost.

Bio: Shyam Gollakota is a Washington Research Foundation endowed Professor at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering in the University of Washington. His work has been licensed and acquired by multiple companies and is in use by millions of users. His lab also worked closely with the Washington Department of Agriculture to wireless track the invasive "murder" hornets, which resulted in the destruction of the first nest in the United States. He is the recipient of the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award in 2020 and recently named as a Moore Inventor Fellow in 2021. He was also named in MIT Technology Review’s 35 Innovators Under 35, Popular Science ‘brilliant 10’ and twice to the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. His group’s research has earned Best Paper awards at MOBICOM, SIGCOMM, UbiComp, SenSys, NSDI and CHI, appeared in interdisciplinary journals like Nature, Nature Communications, Nature Biomedical Engineering, Science Translational Medicine and Science Robotics as well as named as a MIT Technology Review Breakthrough technology of 2016 as well as Popular Science top innovations in 2015. He is an alumni of MIT (Ph.D., 2013, winner of ACM doctoral dissertation award) and IIT Madras.