HKU HKU Dept of Statistics & Actuarial Science, HKU

Seminar by Professor Kun ZHANG from Carnegie Mellon University

DateJuly 6, 2021, Tuesday
Time3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Venuevia Zoom
TitleLearning and using causal representations

Can we find the causal direction between two random variables without temporal precedence information? Can we figure out where latent causal variables should be and how they are related? In our daily life and science, people often attempt to answer such causal questions for the purpose of understanding, proper manipulation of systems, and robust prediction under interventions. Moreover, we are concerned with issues with artificial intelligence (AI) in complex environments. For instance, how can we do transfer learning in a principled way? How can machines deal with adversarial attacks? Interestingly, it has recently been shown that causal information can facilitate understanding and solving various AI problems. This talk focused on how to learn causal representations (with or without latent variables) from observational data and why and how the causal perspective allows adaptive prediction and a potentially higher level of artificial intelligence.

About the speaker

Prof. Kun Zhang is an associate professor of philosophy and an affiliate faculty in the machine learning department of Carnegie Mellon University. He got his bachelor's degree from University of Science and Technology of China and his PhD degree from Chinese University of Hong Kong, has been actively developing methods for automated causal discovery from various kinds of data and investigating machine learning problems including transfer learning and representation learning from a causal perspective. He is a program co-chair for the First Conference on Causal Learning and Reasoning (CLeaR) and the 38th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI) in 2022, and has been frequently serving as a senior area chair, area chair, or senior program committee member for conferences in machine learning or artificial intelligence, including NeurIPS, ICML, UAI, IJCAI, AISTATS, and ICLR.