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‘Artificial Intelligence Hype Vs. Reality’

Courtesy: Mike Rhodin. Mike Rhodin will visit Delaware Valley University to provide a public lecture on artificial intelligence.

Feb 26, 2019

Artificial intelligence is simultaneously creating convenient solutions to problems and anxiety about how the technology will impact jobs in the future. Michael Rhodin, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and a former head of IBM Watson Business Development, will visit Delaware Valley University to provide a realistic look at the impact artificial intelligence will have on how people live and work in the future. The lecture, “Artificial Intelligence Hype Vs. Reality,” will be held on Tuesday, March 5 from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Life Sciences Building auditorium. The event is open to the public at no cost and guests do not need to register in advance.

An experienced international technology industry veteran, Rhodin spent 33 years at IBM rising to become one of the company’s key leaders.  As a senior vice president and officer, Rhodin was responsible for the creation of IBM’s Software Solution business including much of its Smarter Planet portfolio.  After the demonstration of the Watson system on “Jeopardy,” Rhodin founded IBM’s Watson business around this groundbreaking technology, launching its cloud-based services and the first industry vertical, Watson Health.

Prior to that, Rhodin led many large-scale organizations within IBM, including IBM’s European operations based in Zurich, as well as its Collaboration business unit.  An established technologist, he ran numerous engineering organizations within the company across office systems, networking systems and the early stages of IBM’s Internet of Things technologies.

Since his retirement from IBM in 2017, Rhodin has taken on the role of independent director for a number of organizations, such as advising startups from their incubation phase, advising venture capital firms, and serving as a board member on private equity-backed technology companies, HZO and SyncSort. He also serves as a member of the supervisory board of TomTom and on the International Advisory Board for Santander Group, a leading International bank.

In addition to the public presentation, Rhodin will spend time on campus March 4 through March 8 to serve as a guest lecturer in classes; meet with faculty, staff, and students; and serve as the Watson Executive-in-Residence speaker (WEIR). The WEIR presentation, which is open to DelVal students and alumni only, will be on March 7.

The Watson Executive-in-Residence speaker series was founded by Thomas Watson '57, a DelVal alumnus who started out in pharmaceutical sales and realized he was passionate about advertising. He became a founder of Omnicom, one of the world's largest advertising firms. Watson has a passion for education and started an in-house program at his company to provide MBA-level training for employees. As part of the series, he awards a scholarship to a student, who introduces the visiting speaker.