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NEWS BRIEFS: Artificial Intelligence and Disabilities

By Dateline Staff on October 9, 2018 in University

Quick Summary

  • Josh McCoy, assistant professor in computer engineering, and cinema and digital media, to discuss AI applications at Disability Awareness Symposium
  • Staff workshop on Free Speech and Higher Education
  • First ‘UC Quits’ tobacco, now ‘CA Quits’
  • Quarter Century Club will honor 315

A UC Davis faculty member will address “Artificial Intelligence: Innovations for the Future” as the keynote speaker at this year’s Disability Awareness Symposium and Accessibility Tech Fair, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 11).

The symposium and tech fair, free and open to the public, will run simultaneously in the multipurpose room at the Student Community Center.

Josh McCoy mugshot

Joshua McCoy, an assistant professor with appointments in the departments of Computer Science, College of Engineering; and Cinema and Digital Media, College of Letters and Science, will give the keynote from noon to 1 p.m., discussing “current and potential blue-sky future applications of artificial intelligence to problems faced by people with disabilities.”

He further described his address: “From neurons to love, this talk explores the striking similarity between the problems faced by artificial intelligence and people going about their lives. The hype around artificial intelligence and machine learning is exposed and cut through, so the connections between these technological advances and assisting people with disabilities are shown.”

The symposium is sponsored by the Chancellor’s Disability Issues Administrative Advisory Committee and the Office of Campus Community Relations.

Staff workshop on free speech

Campus Dialogue and Deliberation will present a staff workshop next week on the topic of Free Speech and Higher Education.

The organizers posed these questions: Why are so many controversial speakers and events happening in higher education? To what degree are these speakers protected by the First Amendment?  Why does this controversy matter to public education?  How are staff impacted?

Come explore the answers to these and related questions with Carolyn Penny, director of Campus Dialogue and Deliberation, from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Oct. 16, in the Hamilton Room, Heitman Staff Learning Center. This workshop is designed for staff and registration is required.  

Watch a recording of last week’s talk on “Free Speech on Campus,” given by UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman.

First ‘UC Quits’ tobacco, now ‘CA Quits’

Elisa Tong in lab coat

UC Davis Health tobacco researcher and physician Elisa Tong is leading a statewide effort to help safety-net health care systems guide their patients who use tobacco products to resources to help them quit.

Launched this fall, the 5-year statewide project, dubbed CA Quits, is a $6 million award from the California Tobacco Control Program. CA Quits builds on Tong’s UC Quits project that enabled all five UC Health systems to build and share modifications for tobacco assessment and treatment into the electronic medical record and workflows.

Since its launch, UC Quits has referred nearly 12,000 patients, including almost 2,400 from UC Davis, to the free California Smokers Helpline which provides help that can double the chances of a smoker quitting.

“One of the best aspects of UC Quits has been sharing across institutions how we can better help our patients who use or are exposed to tobacco,” Tong said. “It’s a natural step for us to grow into CA Quits and extend this learning collaborative approach with other health systems across the state.”

Read the UC Davis Health news release.

Quarter Century Club will honor 315

The UC Davis Quarter Century Club will hold its 79th annual dinner Thursday, Oct. 25, welcoming 210 active employees who have attained 25 years of service to UC Davis and honoring 105 current members who have reached the 50-year mark of affiliation with UC Davis, even in retirement.

The club held its first meeting in 1939 and currently has nearly 6,000 members. Names and departments of those being honored this year are listed here.

The dinner will be held at The Center at Twenty-Three Hundred (on the campus of Mosaic Law Congregation), 2300 Sierra Blvd., Sacramento. Details, including transportation options and reservation deadline, are included in the invitations that went out to all 25- and 50-year honorees.

Questions? Contact Bill Kuhlman, event manager, by email or phone, 530-754-2011.

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About the author(s)

Dateline Staff Dave Jones, editor, can be reached at 530-752-6556 or Cody Kitaura, news and media relations specialist, can be reached at 530-752-1932 or