ChBE Webinar Presentation hosted by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Wednesday, September 29 at 10:45am to 12:00pm

Virtual Event

Join us on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 for a virtual presentation by Venkat Venkatasubramanian, Department of Chemical Engineering Professor at Columbia University, New York.

Seminar is hosted by AlChE through WebEx. Seminar is open to all. 


"Artificial Intelligence in Chemical Engineering:Past, Present, and Future"

Artificial intelligence (AI) started off with great promise in the early 1980s, spurred by the success of the expert system paradigm in
certain applications. This prompted a flurry of research activities in chemical engineering in the mid-1980s. However, as the ensuing three
decades showed, AI didn’t quite live up to its promise in chemical engineering. So, what went wrong with AI?

In this talk, I will review the different phases of AI in chemical engineering over the last 35 years, providing some background and
explanation to this question. I will also argue that this time it is different – I believe the time for AI in chemical engineering, and in other
domains, has arrived, finally. There are many applications that are ready to yield quick successes in this new data science phase of AI. I will
highlight recent work in materials design and in process operations as examples of exciting progress. However, the really interesting and
intellectually challenging problems lie in developing such conceptual frameworks as hybrid models, mechanism-based causal explanations,
domain-specific knowledge discovery engines, and analytical theories of emergence. These breakthroughs would require going beyond purely
data-centric machine learning, despite all its current excitement, and leveraging other knowledge representation and reasoning methods from
the earlier phases of AI. They would require a proper integration of symbolic reasoning with data-driven processing. I will discuss these
challenges and opportunities going forward.


Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
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