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Harnessing the power of data visualization: from insight & storytelling to AI explanation & data art

About this event

Talk Title: Harnessing the power of data visualization: from insight and storytelling to AI explanation and data art. 

Bio: Fernanda Viégas is Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at Harvard, and Sally Starling Seaver Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Fernanda is also a Principal Scientist at Google, where she co-founded the PAIR  (People+AI Research) initiative. 

Viégas’ work with long-time collaborator Martin Wattenberg pioneered the field of social and collaborative online visualization. The systems they’ve built are used daily by millions of people. The duo is also known for their visualization-based artwork, which has been exhibited worldwide, and is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. 

More recently, Viégas and Wattenberg’s work in machine learning has focused on transparency and interpretability, as part of a broad agenda to improve human/AI interaction. 

Viégas is originally from Brazil and holds a PhD from the MIT Media Lab.

 

Talk Abstract: While most of us are familiar with simple graphs such as bar charts and scatter plots, data visualization is a wide-ranging and expressive medium that extends beyond dashboards and annual reports. In this talk, I’ll present a broad view of the field, highlighting some of the techniques for exploratory data analysis that go beyond visualizing numbers to look at different kinds of rich data such as text and images. I will discuss storytelling with data, how visualization can help us make sense of some AI systems and, finally, the expressiveness of artistic data visualization. By better understanding the reach and rhetorical power of visualizations, we can empower a wider set of stakeholders to be curious and to reason about data.

 

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