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Embodied Social Agents

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Jun 18

Date and time: Thursday 18 June 2020, 12pm – 1pm
Speaker: André Pereira

Abstract: Given the lack of social affordances and cognitive skills in current artificial intelligence systems, today’s interactions with conversational devices such as smart speakers are still mainly utilitarian and transactional. People use these devices mostly for information retrieval tasks that are fulfilled in a single conversational turn (e.g., “Alexa, how’s the weather?”), but there is potential for applications where rich multimodal social mechanisms, natural to human-human communication, are required. These applications include intelligent robot tutors, therapeutic tools for children with autism or artificial game companions. In this talk, I will present my current and previous work addressing topics such as studying the effects of social presence and embodiment in human-robot interaction, using machine learning algorithms to detect users’ states, and developing algorithms for adapting agent’s behaviors to different users and tasks.

Bio: André Pereira is a Researcher at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. He completed his Ph.D. at IST Technical University of Lisbon and worked as a Postdoc at Yale University. Before joining KTH, André had industrial experience as a Senior Research Associate at Disney Research and in leading the software team at Furhat Robotics. André’s primary research goal is to create autonomous embodied artificial intelligence, typically robots, that can socially interact with humans throughout extended periods. He has been involved in several large-scale research projects funded by the European Commission, the US National Science Foundation and Walt Disney Imagineering.