Time+Place: Tuesday 03/01/2017 14:30 Room 337-8 Taub Bld.
Title: On Artificial Olfaction, and How to Test For It
Speaker: David Harel - COLLOQUIUM LECTURE http://www.wisdom.weizmann.ac.il/~dharel/
Affiliation: Dept. of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, Weizmann Institute
Host: Yuval Filmus


For years there has been interest in the possibility of building a reliable 
odor reproduction system (AOS), with its vast spectrum of applications: from
e-commerce, games and video, via the food and cosmetics industry, to medical 
diagnosis. Such a system would enable an output device --- the whiffer --- to
release an imitation of an odor read in by an input device --- the sniffer --- 
upon command.  To realize this scheme one must carry out deep and complex research
that combines computer science and mathematics with chemistry and biochemistry, 
and brain science with psychophysical work and human physiological experimentation. 
In the process, we expect a deep understanding of this least understood of our senses 
to emerge. In this talk I will discuss the question (not unlike Turing's 1950 question 
about artificial intelligence) of how to test the validity of a candidate ORS, in face 
of the impossibility of naming odors in general, and despite the fact that such systems 
still being far from being viable. The importance and nontrivial nature of the question 
are discussed, and a novel testing method is proposed, which involves ideas from imitation 
and recognition, taking advantage of the availability of near-perfect reproduction methods
for sight and sound.

Short Bio:
Prof. David Harel is a professor of computer science at the Weizmann Institute of Science 
and is Vice President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.  He has been at 
Weizmann since 1980, and is incumbent of the William Sussman Professorial Chair. He was 
Head of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from 1989 to 1995, and 
was Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science from 1998 for seven years.

He received a BSc from Bar-Ilan University (1974), an MSc from Tel-Aviv University (1976) 
and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1978). He spent two years at 
IBM's Yorktown Heights research center, sabbatical years at Carnegie-Mellon University, 
Cornell University and the University of Edinburgh, and shorter visiting positions at 
IBM, Lucent Technologies Bell Labs, DEC, NASA, University of Birmingham, Verimag, 
the National University of Singapore and Microsoft Research Cambridge. From 1991 to1999 
he was an adjunct professor at the Open University of Israel. He was also co-founder of  
I-Logix, Inc. in 1984, which was acquired by Telelogic in 2006, and which, in turn, 
was acquired by IBM in 2008.

He has devoted part of his time to educational and expository work: In 1984 he delivered 
a lecture series on Israeli radio, and in 1998 he hosted a series of programs on Israeli 
television. Some of his writing is intended for a general audience.

His awards include the ACM Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award (1992), the Stevens Award 
in Software Development Methods (1996), the Israel Prize (2004), the ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding 
Research Award (2006), the ACM Software System Award (2007), the ACM SIGSOFT Impact Paper 
Award (2008), the Emet Prize (2010) and the ABZ Platinum Gold Medal from ETH Zurich (2013).

He has received honorary degrees from the University of Rennes (2005), the Open University 
of Israel (2006), the University of Milano-Bicocca (2007), the Technical University of 
Eindhoven (2012) and Bet Berl College (2014). He is a Fellow of the ACM (1994), the IEEE (1995), 
the AAAS (2007), and the EATCS (2016), and is a member of the Academia Europaea (2006) and 
the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities (2010; Vice President as of Sept. 2015), and a 
foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2014) and the US National Academy 
of Engineering (2014).

Refreshments will be served from 14:15
Lecture starts at 14:30