ERC talks event: "Frontier Research and Artificial intelligence"

The conference, organized at the heart of the EU in Brussels, gathered scientist leading ERC-funded projects to discuss the current state of artificial intelligence, to get a better understanding of the potential benefits and threats of improving AI, and to highlight the future ways for potential ways for seizing the opportunities of AI whilst limiting possible negative effects for humanity. 

Several sessions took place over two days with a very intense schedule. Agnieszka participated in the third session that discussed the ethical challenges of Artificial Intelligence (full coverage from ERC here: Moreover, Agnieszka was also invited to a live roundtable discussion "ERCtalks | Artificial Intelligence – Should we be afraid?" in which, together with the ERC grantees Phil Howard and Simon Thorpe, addressed questions like "are we prepared to socialise with AI robots?" or "will democracy survive the rise of AI?". The live event took questions posted by the general public via the EU commission webpage, twitter and facebook. Watch the full video of the roundtable below.

This event was a great opportunity not only for the exchange of ideas among ERC grantees but also to position ERC as one of the main contributors to the Artificial Intelligence (AI) research through its bottom-up approach.

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Our team on the 2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)

Agnieszka and Davide de Tommaso were attending to one of the most important conferences in the field of Robotics. It as the first time that we were featured in such an important event. The theme of the conference this year was “Towards a Robotic Society”. Considering the imminent impact of robotics on people’s lives in the near future, the conference focused on the way to create novel human-robot relationships in work, personal, and social environments. Researchers from 62 countries participated with demos, posters and oral presentations in a very stimulating environment.
From our side, Agnieszka presented our work making emphasis on the advantages of using well-control protocols grounded in experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience to investigate human responses to during HRI. Our approach was well received by the robotics community, who understood the challenges of a methodologically rigorous research. 


S4HRI at the "Social cognition in humans and robots" conference

On 28th September Cesco presented the lab's work in a talk at the “Social cognition in humans and robots” conference in Hamburg, Germany. This meeting was a two-day event organised by the FET Proactive H2020 project "Socializing Sensorimotor Contingencies (socSMCs)" and the European Society for Cognitive Systems (EUCog). 
The invited speakers submitted talks, and state-of-the-art posters from disciplines such as neuroscience and robot research presented forward-looking perspectives in social cognition. With that, the organisers did an excellent job at creating a platform that was both multidisciplinary and focused.

Cesco’s slides can be found on the open science framework.


S4HRI present on the 3rd workshop of the series “Understanding Others- Integration of Social Cognitive and Affective Processes” in Dresden

The Workshop, that took place at the Technische Universitat Dresden,  was mainly focused on the methodological issues in testing and measuring human social behaviours, Theory of Mind (ToM), and empathy. Our team participated in the workshop with two posters presented by Davide Ghiglino and Serena Marchesi (poster available on instance website). We are glad to inform you that Serena was awarded for her contribution!


S4HRI goes to IEEE RO-MAN 2018

The Conference took place in the city of Nanjing –the capital of Jiangsu province of the People's Republic of China– with the participation of more than 250 researchers from all over the world. The very interesting conference was the place of multidisciplinary approaches and fruitful discussion on how to solve the problem of human-robot communication and interaction. We were present with the presentation of the accepted paper and chairing of the session on Evaluation Methods and Human-Robot Interaction Studies.


S4HRI at SCAN meeting in Leiden, 2018

Our group actively attended to the 4th international conference of the European Society for Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (ESCAN), which took place in Leiden, The Netherlands, between 19-22 of July (2018) at the Leiden University Medical Center. We contributed with a workshop and several talks. Agnieszka, Pauline, Cesco, Francesca, Kyveli and (feat.) Prof. Giorgio Metta shared their findings and engaged in the discussion with the attendees. A very bog conference in the heart of Holland and a great chance to show our progress. Looking forward to the next meeting!


Agnieszka's participation in the STOA meeting featured on The European Research Council Magazine 

The article makes reviews some of the activities of the two-days ERC event titled
"Investing in young researchers, shaping Europe’s future". The meeting gathered ERC grantees and Members of the European Parliament to review different topics that go from modern energy solutions to the digital revolution. The article reports about two of the many sessions: Digital revolution – Potential and challenges of the Information Society and Science policy, communication and global networking. The latter session brought together MEPs, the European Commission's Director General for Science Research and Innovation, the Chair of the Commission's Group of Chief Scientific Advisors and several ERC grantees, including our P.I. Agnieszka Wykowska. The discussion focused on how the research world can interact with society. 

Check the full article here:


Investing in young researchers, shaping Europe's future 

We are glad to share that Agnieszka has been invited to present her ERC grant to the President of the EU Parliament and the President of the EU Commission, among other MEPs, officials and high-level scientists.

Additionally, she will take part in the exchange sessions "Science policy, communication and global networking" and in the plenaries on 31st of May.


Keynote in Krakow

On 19th of April, at the ETEE conference in Krakow, Poland, Agnieszka Wykowska presented a joint keynote with Giorgio Metta. The researchers talked about iCub – an excellent example of openness in research and education. Agnieszka talked about her approach to human-robot interaction from the perspective of cognitive neuroscience; while Giorgio talked about robotics and AI.

In a nutshell, they highlighted how beneficial it is to build a world-wide community centered around a common project, and how this is possible thanks to open science. Moreover, they stressed the added value of truly interdisciplinary research.

[Full gallery here]


New preprint out
Eye contact plays a crucial role in social interaction. It is the step before gaze following and sharing of attention. Using the gaze cueing paradigm with a humanoid robot we investigate the impact of eye contact on gaze guided attention.

For more details check out our most recent work on the link below


Slides from Neuroscience4HRI workshop
We have uploaded to the presentations of all the contributors, including the keynote. If you missed our workshop please have a look at the webpage for more information.


Last week in Chicago it took place the workshop "Cognitive and Social Neuroscience Methods for HRI", in conjunction with the HRI 2018 conference. The workshop was organized by S4hri_iit together with @iCub facility and Bangor University and the University of Glasgow. We had a very inspiring keynote from Tony Belpaeme, seven great talks, and a rich and fruitful discussion. 

We keep moving towards HRI research based on social and cognitive neuroscience methods. Thanks to all the contributors and attendees for their participation. 

See you next time!!!


New publication
We are happy to share the new paper "Robot Faces that Follow Gaze Facilitate Attentional Engagement and Increase Their Likeability". The year just started and we are looking for more.

Full text here.


New Webpage
We are very happy to share with you our webpage. All the latest news will be updated here. Looking forward to share with you all the good news.

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