AI Seminar Series 2021: Hamsa Bastani

The AI Seminar is a weekly meeting at the University of Alberta where researchers interested in artificial intelligence (AI) can share their research. Presenters include both local speakers from the University of Alberta and visitors from other institutions. Topics can be related in any way to artificial intelligence, from foundational theoretical work to innovative applications of AI techniques to new fields and problems.

On Nov. 19, Hamsa Bastani, Assistant Professor at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, presented "Efficient and targeted COVID-19 border testing via reinforcement learning" at the AI Seminar.

Bastani discusses the design and performance of “Eva,” a reinforcement-learning system trialed to limit the number of asymptomatic travellers entering Greece during the COVD-19 pandemic in the summer of 2020. The system was different from other border restriction methods used in the country, with a heavy reliance on demographic data and testing results from previous travellers. During the trial, Bastani argues the system was much better at limiting the entry of asymptomatic travellers and reveals the potential benefits of using reinforcement learning and real-time data to protect public health.

Watch the full presentation below:

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