The Institute - September 2021 - 55

required volunteers and staff to create
manual workarounds to provide the
data they needed to gain the necessary
insight into IEEE's business
activities. This was not ideal.
In May we rolled out NextGen.
This cloud-based management
system supports comprehensive
project-based financials and provides
support for automating contracts and
purchase orders as well as tracking
and reporting costs and expenses.
It enables both volunteer leaders
and staff to better manage their
budgets and track spending across
the organization, where everything
from expense reporting to end-to-end
contract management is online and
cost accounting is clear.
The system is available for those
who are authorized to process
financials and contracts, including
IEEE Technical Activities society
and council leadership; geographic
unit treasurers at the region, council,
section, and chapter levels; conference
organizers; and IEEE Standards Association
IEEE understands this is a change
for our volunteers and it will take time
to adapt to the new platform. Training
and educational resources have
been made available throughout the
transition period. For more information,
please visit the NextGen website
As a strong investment in IEEE's
future, NextGen upgrades our financial
systems and advances the way
we manage our business activities.
By streamlining and simplifying
existing processes with NextGen,
we have become more nimble as an
With greater visibility and governance
over IEEE processes, we can
make quicker, more informed decisions.
And we are better positioned to
manage day-to-day activities with a
greater focus on the mission of IEEE.
IEEE president and CEO
Thank you for your continued support.
Please share your thoughts with me at
The Many Aspects
of Machine Learning
Bias-detection programs, guidelines for responsible AI,
and intuitive robot-program platforms are a few
THIS ISSUE FOCUSES on artificial
intelligence and machine
learning, and how IEEE and
its members are involved.
Machine-learning expert
Michael I. Jordan says today's
AI systems aren't as smart
as people think. On page 58,
the IEEE Fellow dispels the
notion that computers " think "
and are in direct competition
with humans. The online
version of this article has been
our most-read profile to date.
Back in 1997, it certainly
appeared as if AI machines were
smarter than humans. That
year IBM's Deep Blue made
history when it became the
first machine to beat a reigning
world chess champion. On
page 64 you can learn about the
computer's technology, which
was developed by two IEEE
senior members.
One problem facing AI
are claims of bias. Nashlie
Sephus, an applied
scientist who manages
the Amazon Web Services
machine-learning group, is
working to root out bias in
the company's AI-based facial
analysis and recognition
tools [page 62]. The IEEE
member also is leading the
development of a general
bias-identification program
for machine-learning models.
An effective way to overcome
concerns of discrimination,
privacy, and surveillance
in AI is to change the way the
technology is conceived and
built right from the beginning.
IEEE is offering tools to help
companies apply AI responsibly
and ethically, such as
training courses [page 60]
and technical standards [page
61]. Another tool is its free
playbook, " Trusted Data and
Artificial Intelligence Systems
(AIS) for Financial Services. " It
includes a road map for how to
build trustworthy AI systems.
Training industrial robots
requires substantial knowledge,
and skilled coders are
in short supply. Augmentus, a
startup in Singapore founded
by IEEE Member Daryl Lim,
aims to make programming
industrial robots easier with
its AI and computer-vision
algorithms [page 67].
Also in this issue, on
page 56, learn about IEEE's
new Diversity, Equity, and
Inclusion website, which
contains a wealth of information,
resources, and tools for
members, volunteers, and the
broader community. Another
article is about IEEE MOVE,
the organization's natural
disaster relief program, which
is expanding outside the
United States. On page 66,
learn where it will be deployed
and the services the program
provides. And remember
to celebrate IEEE Day on
5 October [page 56].
Want to know more about
AI? Don't miss IEEE Spectrum's
special report next month.
Also, if you haven't
already done so, check out
our re designed website,
where you can find
member-exclusive content,
follow topics of interest
such as AI, and access
our archives.
Editor in chief, The Institute
For updates about IEEE and its
members, visit us at

The Institute - September 2021

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