Computing That Serves

The REAL Problem With Artificial Intelligence


Thursday, January 7, 2016 - 11:00am


Frank Jones


Cory Barker

The REAL Problem With Artificial Intelligence
Thursday, January 7, 2016
11:00am  1170 TMCB

The late Carl Sagan observed that: "We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in  which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology." What was true in Sagan's time is only more so today. As the accomplishments of our scientists and engineers multiply, the gap between that which our society interacts with, and that which it actually understands grows ever larger.

We humans have a tendency of exaggerating the significance and potential of things which we are affected by but do not adequately comprehend - accordingly, our society has begun to believe that there are no limits to what can be accomplished through technology - especially computing technology. This optimism has led to the speculation that humanity will someday be able to manufacture machines capable of thinking for themselves. Significant time, effort, and resources have already been invested in the pursuit of this idea, and as a computer scientist I am sometimes asked if I believe humanity will succeed in the quest. In this talk I present my answer.


Dr. Frank Jones was raised in Southeastern Idaho where he spent much of his youth working and playing in the dirt. In 2001, after a year of studies at the University of Idaho, followed by a year of saving, Frank served two years in the Ohio Columbus Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Upon returning home, he attended BYU-Idaho for one year before marrying his wife (Erin) and returning to the University of Idaho where he completed BS and MS degrees in Computer Science, with an emphasis on computer architecture and reconfigurable computing. At the completion of his Masters degree Dr. Jones accepted entrance to the Ph.D. program in computer science at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he continued to investigate high-performance architectures and compilers, but also became interested in wearable computing and assistive technologies. Ultimately he would defend a Ph.D. dissertation that introduced a new user interface paradigm for assistive devices for the blind.

In 2012 Frank accepted an appointment as Assistant Professor with the Math and Physical Sciences Department at The College of Idaho where he would work to revitalize the aging C.S. curriculum and reconstitute a Math and Computer Science major.

While pursuing his M.S., Dr Jones had the opportunity of spending a year working full-time with the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) at China Lake California. In 2014 he was privileged to return to China Lake as a Computer Scientist where he presently supports the Joint Technical Coordination Group for Munitions Effectiveness.

Dr. Jones and his wife currently live on acreage in Inyokern California, where his 5 kids have ample opportunity to work and play in the dirt.