A former Director of the University of Colombo School of Computing, He has also served as a Visiting Professor at the Management & Science University of Malaysia (MSU), visiting Faculty at the Umea University of Sweden and Dean of the Informatics Institute of Technology, Sri Lanka. He is a past ERCIM Fellow in France’s INRIA Labs and a Fulbright Senior Visiting Scholar at Carnegie-Mellon University, USA. After serving in various capacities at the UGC, MoHE, NSF, ICTA, LEARN, ISOC, IOI, SLSI, LSF, LKNIC and SLASSCOM, more recently, He has been on national committees for upscaling the talent pool in data science, for setting up of a Biotechnology park, for forming a National Export Strategy in the ICT sector, and for developing a policy for promoting Knowledge Services. His primary research interests are in Computational Linguistics including Machine Translation, and particularly in techniques employing statistical methods and machine learning using large data sets. His research interests expand naturally to Artificial Intelligence and more recently, Bioinformatics.
Recent advances in artificial intelligence has sparked debate ranging from euphoric optimism to doomsday pessimism. For the first time in its long history AI has become a popular term in the technology industry at large. It is increasingly becoming harder to distinguish reality from hype. In this talk I will attempt to briefly trace the path AI has taken over the years and where it finds itself today. I will then try to outline the stances that are being taken by different people groups and try to bring them together in helping us think about a rational way of thinking about the future of AI.