Socially Responsible Automation: A Framework for Shaping the Future

Pramod Khargonekar, University of California, Irvine and Meera Sampath, State University of New York

Pramod Khargonekar, Distinguished Professor of EECS and Vice Chancellor for Research, University of California, Irvine

Pramod Khargonekar received a B.Tech. Degree in electrical engineering in 1977 from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India and his MS degree in mathematics in 1980 and PhD degree in electrical engineering in 1981 from the University of Florida. He has been on faculty at the University of Florida, University of Minnesota, The University of Michigan, and the University of California, Irvine. He was Chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from 1997 to 2001 and also held the position of Claude E. Shannon Professor of Engineering Science at The University of Michigan. From 2001 to 2009, he was Dean of the College of Engineering and Eckis Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida till 2016. He also served briefly as Deputy Director of Technology at ARPA-E, U. S. Department of Energy in 2012-13. He was appointed by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to serve as Assistant Director for the Directorate of Engineering (ENG) in March 2013, a position he held till June 2016. In this position, Khargonekar led the ENG Directorate with an annual budget of more than $950 million. In addition, he served as a member of the NSF senior leadership and management team and participated in setting priorities and policies. In June 2016, he assumed his current position as Vice Chancellor for Research and Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine.

Meera Sampath, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, State University of New York

Dr. Meera Sampath is Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at the State University of New York, where she is responsible for advancing SUNY’s system-wide research mission with special focus on AI research, innovation, strategic partnerships, and advocacy. Prior to joining SUNY, Meera was Vice President of Innovation at Xerox Services, where she oversaw a broad research portfolio in automation and analytics. At Xerox she has held several positions earlier on including Principal Scientist, Xerox Research, and Founding Director, Xerox Research Center India. Meera received her B.E., M.Tech. and PhD, all in Electrical Engineering from Anna University India, the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, respectively.

Automation has been a central theme of her academic explorations and professional career. Her current research interests are in human-technology collaborative work, socially responsible automation, and the role of technology and education in creating jobs of the automation era. A recipient of the University of Michigan’s Alumni Merit Award, Meera holds over 15 US patents and is active on a number of education-focused boards, including the University of Michigan ECE advisory council, the Rochester International Academy for refugee students, and the Hochstein School of Music and Dance, Rochester, NY.

Please enter your email address to view this free video.

We'd like to keep in touch about future MIT Technology Review initiatives and events.