Indian-American bags Amazon Research Award

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The tool designed by Prabhakar would be utilized to minimise disruptive changes to user experience of machine learning-based software systems as the product is refined and retrained over time…reports Asian Lite News

Pavithra Prabhakar, an Indian-American professor of computer science at the Kansas State University, has received an Amazon Research Award to design a tool that minimises negative user experiences.

Prabhakar, who is the Peggy and Gary Edwards chair in engineering, was one of 74 recipients of the awards from Amazon, which also includes an unrestricted gift, access to more than 300 Amazon public datasets, and Amazon Web Services’ artificial intelligence and machine learning services and tools.

The tool designed by Prabhakar would be utilized to minimise disruptive changes to user experience of machine learning-based software systems as the product is refined and retrained over time.

“The broad objective of the project is to automatically characterize how much two versions of machine learning-based systems are similar or different,” Prabhakar said.

She further said even though these systems are regularly retrained to achieve superior performance, it does not often translate to a better user experience.

“This can be mitigated by equipping the design team with an automated tool that could highlight where and by how much the systems changed between different versions, thereby aiding the team in making decisions regarding the acceptability of the changes from a user experience perspective,” Prabhakar explained.

The automated tool will benefit design teams in making critical decisions about improving user experience of machine learning-based intelligent software systems, a Kansas State University press statement said.

Prabhakar obtained her doctorate in computer science and a master’s degree in applied mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, followed by a Center for the Mathematics of Information postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology.

She was named a Michelle Munson-Serban Simu Keystone research scholar and received the dean’s award for excellence in research from the Carl R Ice College of Engineering.

Prabhakar’s research has been recognized with several prestigious awards, including the NSF CAREER award, Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award and the Marie Curie Career Integration Grant from the European Union.

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