Kent State University Kiva Auditorium

Kent Student Center

1075 Risman Drive

Kent, OH 44242

Saturday, September 10, 2016    

1:00 - 3:30 PM

“We Come in Peace” was a panel discussion that discussed the social, moral, and economic implications of Artificial Intelligence as it affects the life of the average citizen.

Can We Stop the AI Invasion?

Should We?


Stuart Johnson (Vice President of Connected Nation)

As Vice President of Connected Nation, a leading technology organization committed to

assisting states, communities, families,  and individuals in realizing great economic and

social advantages through improved broadband access, adoption, and use. Stuart

provides comprehensive strategy and management for two Connected Nation

programs – Connect Ohio and Digital Works. The Digital Works program connects

people to high-demand, online-customer support and IT jobs for global corporations.

Since its conceptualization and launch in 2013 under his leadership, Digital Works has

expanded to 6 states and has created over 700 jobs for its 60+  employer partners.

Connect Ohio is committed to bringing affordable high-speed Internet and broadband-enabled

resources to all Ohioans. The program effectively raises the awareness of the value of broadband and works to improve technology access, adoption, and use through its programs. Connect Ohio is a nonprofit, technology-neutral public-private partnership.  Stuart has over 25 years of executive level telecommunications experience and holds a bachelor of science in finance from The Ohio State University.

Links to:

Connected Nation

Connect Ohio

Digital Works


We discussed the many current positive contributions from AI technology and what it may provide in the future, but also discussed the challenges that have to be met when implementing AI for society. Extensive questions were posed to the panelists from the moderator and the audience. Our panel discussed the broad social, moral, and economic implications of AI as it intersects with the average citizen.

The panel were interdisciplinary in nature with backgrounds in research, philosophy, government, and private industry.  Although the panel discussed the technical topic of Artificial Intelligence, our target audience were the laymen and the public in terms the average citizen could understand.

Dr. Pooyan Fazli (AI/Robotics Researcher)

Assistant professor and the founding director of the People and Robots Laboratory

(PeRL) in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at

Cleveland State University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the

University of British Columbia and his M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Computer Science from

Amirkabir University of Technology. Prior to joining CSU, he was a postdoctoral

fellow in the CORAL Research Group at Carnegie Mellon University and in the

Laboratory for Computational Intelligence at the University of British Columbia.

His research focuses on artificial intelligence, autonomous robots, multi-robot systems,

human-robot teams, machine learning, and robot vision.

Links to:

People and Robots Laboratory  (PeRL)

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Cleveland State University

CMU CORAL Research Group.

Dr. Sven Koenig (AI/Robotics Researcher)

Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California is a professor in              

computer science at the University of Southern California. Most of his research centers

around techniques for decision making (planning and learning) that enable single

situated agents (such as robots or decision-support systems) and teams of agents

to act intelligently in their environments and exhibit goal-directed behavior in


Sven is a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence

(AAAI) and an ACM Senior Member. He is the recipient of research awards (including

an NSF CAREER Award, an IBM Faculty Partnership Award, a Charles Lee Powell Foundation

Award and a Raytheon Faculty Fellowship Award) and educational awards (including a Mellon

Mentoring Award and an SAIC Student Advisement Award). He was also a program director at the National Science Foundation (NSF) from 2010 to 2012, where he received the Director's Award for Collaborative Integration in both 2011 and 2012. He co-founded Robotics: Science and Systems, a highly selective robotics conference, in 2005 and subsequently served on both the board of directors and the advisory board of the Robotics: Science and Systems Foundation.  He also co-founded the International Symposium on Combinatorial Search, the first regular meeting of the search community in artificial intelligence, in 2009 and now serves on its governing council.

Links to:

Advancement of Artificial Intelligence  (AAAI)

Robotics: Science and Systems

Robotics: Science and Systems Foundation

Dr. Mark Vopat (Professional Ethicists Professor)

Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Dr. James Dale Ethics Center at Youngstown

State University. Dr. Vopat received his doctorate from the University of Western

Ontario. His research interests are in the areas of moral and political philosophy and

applied ethics, particularly in the areas of children's rights, education, and distributive


He has written papers and has done presentations on professional ethics such as an

invited paper  "On the Disconnect Between Business and Professional Ethics"  at the

13th International Conference on Ethics Across the Curriculum, “Moral Insensitivity and

the Business Professional” for the Association of Practical and Professional Ethics, and 

“Professions and Professional Responsibility” for Professional Ethics: An Online Text ed., Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Youngstown State University and also “Technology and American Values" presented to the YSU Institute for Learning in Retirement.

Links to:

Political Philosophy, and Applied Ethics at Youngstown State University

Paul Carlson (Intelligent Community Strategist)

As Intelligent Community Strategist, has conducted IT transformation resulting in the

City of Columbus being recognized as the 2015 "Most Intelligent Community" in the

world by the Intelligent Community Foundation (ICF), achieving international status for

Central Ohio.

He facilitated the 2015 and 2016 NIST OSU Global City Team Challenge Autonomous

Vehicle pilots and participated in the June 2016 winning proposal for the $40M US

DOT “Smart City Challenge”. Currently working on mapping the Knowledge Index for

Cities data to STAR (Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating communities) for

Columbus, anticipating expanding the index use to other Ohio cities and nationally.

The "Knowledge Index for Cities" provides a view into the knowledge transactions of a city, and to the factors that incentivize those transactions. "Knowledge City" supports citizen engagement, knowledge sharing, new research collaboration, and a more effective transition into the knowledge economy.

Links to:

Smart City Challenge

Cameron Hughes  - Moderator

(Software Epistemologist)

Computer and robot programmer. He holds a post as a Software Epistemologist at

Ctest Laboratories where he is currently working on A.I.M (Alternative Intelligence for

Machines) & A.I.R (Alternative Intelligence for Robots) technologies. Cameron is the

lead AI Engineer for the Knowledge Group at Advanced Software Construction Inc.,

a builder of intelligent robot controllers and software-based knowledge components.

He holds a staff appointment as a Programmer/Analyst at Youngstown State


Cameron is a member of the advisory board for the NREF (National Robotics

Education Foundation) and members of the Oak Hill Robotics Makerspace. He is the project leader of the technical team for the NEOACM CSI/CLUE Robotics Challenge and regularly organize and direct robot programming workshops for varying robot platforms. Cameron is the co-authors of Build Your Own Teams of Robots, published by McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics, January 2013 and Robot Programming, A Guide to Controlling Autonomous Robots, published by Que Publishing, in May 2016. Cameron Hughes is the co-author of many books and blogs on Software Development and Artificial Intelligence and has written books on multicore, multithreaded programming, Linux rapid application development, object-oriented programming, and parallel programming in C++.

Links to:

NREF (National Robotics Education Foundation)

Build Your Own Teams of Robots

A Guide to Controlling Autonomous Robots

SHOW YOUR SUPPORTabout_panelists_files/neoacm_ai_panel_09102016.pdf

Nicholas Wagner is the cofounder and

CTO of AvatarFleet

A Northeast Ohio company focused on bringing innovative software solutions to the

trucking industry. Nick has over 10 years experience as a programmer and software

architect developing applications that help improve employee performance. He

graduated from Franciscan University of Stuebenville with a BS in computer science

and mathematics.

In addition to software engineering, Nick enjoys a variety of engineering topics and is

an IEEE member and an Amateur Extra Class ham radio operator. He is a regular

participant in local Maker Faires where he always learns something new. NIck is deeply religious and is an active member of his church. His wife, Elizabeth, and their four children accept all his eccentricities and regularly join in the fun.

Links to:

Avatar Fleet