University of Bologna
Title: Cooperative AI for Social Good
Abstract: In the recent years, there have been an increasing interest in the problem of cooperation in several research communities. Indeed, cooperation is a typical cross-disciplinary problem, which has been investigated by researchers from a variety of fields, including Evolutionary Psychology, Biology, Political Science, Economics and Computer Science, just to name a few. In particular, in AI, the main focus has been on the design of cooperative agents, i.e., agents that interact and work together to reach a common goal. This work has applications not only in the development of intelligent technologies, e.g., for supporting the design of effective human-AI interaction systems, but also outside computing, e.g., for understanding the dynamics of human and social interactions, for facilitating the creation of efficient institutions, for contributing to the definition of solutions to political and environmental crises and so on.
In this keynote talk, I will discuss the open challenges in this fascinating field with a specific focus on applications for social good, starting from an analysis of the state-of-the-art in Cooperative AI and considering examples from ongoing projects in our lab.
Bio: Mirco Musolesi is Full Professor of Computer Science at the Department of Computer Science at University College London and a Turing Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute, the UK National Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. He is also Full Professor of Computer Science at the University of Bologna. Previously, he held research and teaching positions at Dartmouth, Cambridge, St Andrews, and Birmingham. His research interests include machine learning, artificial intelligence, computational modelling of user/human behaviour, and machine intelligence for ubiquitous computing and the Internet of Things. More information about his research profile can be found at https://www.mircomusolesi.org.
Cyprus University of Technology
Title: Towards Theoretically and Empirically Grounded Design of Behavior Change Technologies
Abstract: Behavior Change Technologies (BCTs) have emerged in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) as a promising class of tools able to address key societal problems. Human behavior is a key contributing factor to most of them, from global warming, to the rising cost of healthcare worldwide, and emerging concerns of the technological age, such as online privacy and the propagation of misinformation through social media. In the domain of health, non-communicable diseases including heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes account for nearly 70% of deaths. Their causes are primarily behavioral, including smoking, physical inactivity, poor diet and alcohol use. Physical inactivity, in particular, is one of the leading risk factors for death worldwide. BCTs, such as physical activity trackers, can become instrumental in the transition to a new healthcare landscape that stresses prevention and patients being in control of their health. Yet, recent studies have questioned the effectiveness of physical activity trackers and shown high attrition rates among their users. While technological interventions have been proven to be more effective when grounded in theory, studies have shown the majority of activity trackers to lack theoretical content. With an abundance of theories and behavior change techniques, it has been noted that designers and researchers are having a hard time deciding with confidence which of the theories and techniques to use. In this talk we will argue for the need for theoretically and empirically grounded design in the context of BCTs. We will present a number of recent projects where we have attempted to make behavioral theory accessible to design teams, as well as empirical studies of the adoption, engagement with, and impact of physical activity trackers on individuals’ behaviors.
Bio: Dr. Evangelos Karapanos is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Internet Studies of the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) where he leads the Persuasive Technologies laboratory. Dr. Karapanos holds a PhD (cum laude) in Human-Computer Interaction from Eindhoven University of Technology, a MSc in Human-Computer Interaction from University College London, and a BSc in Physics with a specialization in microelectronics from the University of Patras. His expertise is in experience-centered design of interaction with technology. His work has received more than 4000 citations in the literature and a number of awards, including a best paper and a best poster award at Persuasive Technology 2017, an honorable mention for best paper at Ubicomp 2015, and the tech challenge for atrocity prevention 2013 award.