Craig Watkins dallas dead and obituary, Centennial Professor and the Executive death

S. Craig Watkins holds the position of the Ernest A. Sharpe Centennial Professor and serves as the Executive Director of the IC2 Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. His research is centered on examining the equity implications arising from computer-mediated technologies. As one of the Principal Investigators for UT-Austin’s Good Systems Grand Challenge, a University-backed initiative exploring the technical, social, and ethical aspects of artificial intelligence, Craig leads a team focused on investigating the racial equity dimensions of AI.

The team delves into the examination of how implicit biases within datasets, model formulation, and deployment can result in disparate impacts, particularly in critical areas such as healthcare and policing. Collaborating with the fields of Design and Information, Craig’s research explores the interactions of Black and Latinx children with AI-consumer devices like digital assistants. Additionally, he was part of a multidisciplinary team that prototyped a chatbot to assist parents dealing with postpartum depression, involving social scientists, psychologists, and computer scientists.

Craig leads another team dedicated to adopting a data-oriented approach to comprehend the social determinants of health. This ongoing research has culminated in the development of AI-based solutions aimed at addressing the mental healthcare crisis in the U.S. The team’s efforts have been acknowledged through selection for the Texas Health Catalyst program at UT-Austin, operating in the Dell Medical School and the Office of Technology Commercialization, which facilitates the translation of early-stage ideas into health-improving products.

Furthermore, Craig served as a Visiting MLK Professor at MIT, maintaining collaboration with faculty in the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS). Their collaborative work investigates the racial equity implications of artificial intelligence, exploring topics such as the impact of big data and systemic inequality in housing, the data challenges in policing, and the future intersection of artificial intelligence and racial justice.

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