Ex Machina

Mar 8


Yogesh Girdhar

Computer Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Ex Machina— Ecologically curious robots

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Computer Scientist Yogesh Girdhar shares insights on how to enable ecologically curious robots for monitoring coral reefs.

Martha's Vineyard Film Society Tisbury, MA


Film Synopsis

A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking humanoid A.I.

Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson), a programmer at an Internet company, wins a contest that sends him to the private estate of Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac), his firm's brilliant CEO. When he arrives, Caleb learns that he has been chosen to be the human component in a Turing test to determine the capabilities and consciousness of Ava (Alicia Vikander), a beautiful robot designed by Bateman. However, it soon becomes evident that Ava is far more self-aware and deceptive than either man imagined.

About the Speaker

Yogesh Girdhar is a computer scientist, and the PI of the WARPLab at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), in the Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering department. He received his BS and MS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY; and his Ph.D. from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. During his Ph.D. Girdhar developed an interest in ocean exploration using autonomous underwater vehicles, which motivated him to come to WHOI, initially as a postdoc, and then later continue as a scientist to start WARPLab. Girdhar’s research has since then focused on developing smarter autonomous exploration robots that, through the use of AI, can accelerate the scientific discovery process in oceans. Some notable recognition of his work includes the Best Paper Award in Service Robotics at ICRA 2020, finalist for Best Paper Award at IROS 2018, and honorable mention for 2014 CIPPRS Doctoral Dissertation Award.