College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

International conference will shine a light on Clemson University’s strength in artificial intelligence


A Clemson University computer engineer and two of his Ph.D. students will have a chance to showcase their strength in artificial intelligence when researchers, practitioners, scientists and engineers from around the world gather for a major conference.

Yingjie Lao, an assistant professor, and students Joseph Clements and Bingyin Zhao, have altogether had three papers accepted to the 36th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence.

Dr. Yingjie Lao (far right) works with Ph.D. students Joseph Clements (middle) and Bingyin Zhao.

Of the 9,020 papers reviewed, 15% were accepted to the conference.

All three of the Lao-group papers focus on enhancing security in artificial intelligence, an ever-growing important topic in AI research and applications.

Lao said the papers were a result of the research he and his team conducted as part of his CAREER award from the National Science Foundation.

“It shows our work is recognized by the community and that the reviewers like our work and think it is interesting and novel,” Lao said. “We hope our work can help improve the robustness and security for next-generation AI technologies.”

The papers and their authors are:

“DeepHardMark: Towards Watermarking Neural Network Hardware,” Clements and Lao

“CLPA: Clean-Label Poisoning Availability Attacks Using Generative Adversarial Nets,” Zhao and Lao

“DeepAuth: A DNN Authentication Framework by Model-Unique and Fragile Signature Embedding,” Lao and three from Baidu Research USA

Hai Xiao, chair of the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said the acceptance of the three papers helps draw attention to the high level of scholarship that Lao brings to the department.

“Dr. Lao and his students will have a chance to share their knowledge with some of the international community’s leading AI scholars,” Xiao said. “It’s a well-deserved honor and a unique opportunity to raise Clemson’s global reputation in the fast-growing field of artificial intelligence.”

The conference, set for Feb. 22-March 1, is sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and “promotes theoretical and applied AI research as well as intellectual interchange among researchers and practitioners,” according to the conference website.

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