Dr. Guruduth Banavar is VP of Cognitive Computing at IBM Research, and leads a worldwide team responsible for creating the next generation of cognitive/A.I. systems known as Watson. He and his team build a range of cognitive systems that learn from massive amounts of data, reason toward specific goals, and interact naturally with people to perform a variety of tasks – from answering questions conversationally to extracting knowledge for discovering insights to evaluating options for difficult decisions. These cognitive systems are designed to create new partnerships between people and machines to augment and scale human expertise in every industry, from healthcare to financial services to education. Guru's work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, National Public Radio, and other international media. In 2009 he received the National Innovation Award from the President of India for the "Spoken Web" project.
Unless otherwise noted, all programs take place on Thursdays at 5:10 pm at the historic Michigan Theater, located at 603 E. Liberty Street in downtown Ann Arbor, and are free of charge and open to the public.