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CHIPS Articles: Navy scientist selected as National Academy of Inventors Fellow

Navy scientist selected as National Academy of Inventors Fellow
By Katherine Connor, SSC Pacific Public Affairs - December 14, 2016
Dr. Stuart H. Rubin, a scientist at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific), who significantly advanced the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning, has been selected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Rubin has 35 patents, with more than two dozen pending, and has authored or coauthored 300 refereed papers and four books.

Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional distinction accorded to academic inventors with a prolific spirit of innovation who have made tangible impacts on the welfare of society.

Rubin, who holds master’s degrees in both systems engineering and computer science and holds a doctorate in computer science, developed, published, and is applying his Theory of Randomization to computer science, which laid the foundation for machine learning. Two decades ago he founded the IEEE Information Reuse and Integration Conference, and he chairs the IEEE technical committee on Knowledge Acquisition in Intelligent Systems.

While the majority of his work and inventions are focused on artificial intelligence and knowledge-discovery systems, Rubin has patented ideas in a variety of fields, from laser-based poison gas detectors to a method for modulating a radio-frequency carrier wave for use in naval communications, to a machine capable of detecting anthrax spores regardless of their orientation, which has been adapted for use in a women’s health setting to more accurately detect abnormal cancerous cells in Pap smears.

Rubin developed a machine-learning system capable of transferring knowledge from past inputs to predict current situations, which was used by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service to adaptively learn to complete police reports. He applied his Knowledge Amplification by Structured Expert Randomization (KASER) solution to diagnose faults with the F-16 radar system. He also abstracted randomization design principles to create an electrostatic atomizer, which uses existing jet fuel additives to increase the efficiency of fuel consumption, especially at takeoff.

His current research is focused on natural language learning in machines, software automation, computer vision, and advancing artificial intelligence, and he also prioritizes countering what he sees as an uninformed doomsday view of AI by highlighting its many benefits for naval applications, and for reducing the cost, improving the quality, and increasing the accessibility of education and medicine as well.

“AI is not going to take over and become dangerous to humans, it’s not in that position at all,” Rubin said. “It’s more like a lever–and it’s the people that control the lever.”

One of Rubin’s guiding principles is the importance of being able to make mistakes and learn from them. He said this is what separates humans from robots, and is something he is working to develop in machines.

“If you are never given the latitude to make a mistake, you can never learn anything,” he said. “Until we endow our machines with the capability of making mistakes, they will be limited in what they can learn. I think computers are going to become much more capable of doing things because they’re going to have the ability to reason around uncertainty. They don’t need to have perfect certainty and that’s going to allow them to become far more capable. The KASER has empirically proven that.”

Rubin joins an elite group of NAI Fellows that also includes Dr. Stephen Russell, SSC Pacific’s chief technology officer. In October 2016, SSC Pacific became the first Department of Defense organization to establish an NAI chapter, inducting 36 scientists and engineers at its inaugural meeting.

Prior to his work at SSC Pacific, Rubin was a tenured associate professor of computer science at Central Michigan University, and an electronics engineer at the Department of the Army’s Fort Monmouth, where he was awarded a U.S. Government Certificate of Merit for his work on very high speed integrated circuits (VHSIC).

Dr. Stuart H. Rubin. Photo by Alan Antczak
Dr. Stuart H. Rubin. Photo by Alan Antczak
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