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Invited Speakers

Cynthia Breazeal

Cynthia Breazeal is an Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she founded and directs the Personal Robots Group (formerly the Robotic Life Group) at the Media Lab. She is a pioneer of Social Robotics and Human Robot Interaction (HRI). She has authored the book Designing Sociable Robots and has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles on autonomous robots, artificial intelligence, social robots, human-robot interaction, and robot learning. She has been awarded an ONR Young Investigator Award, honored as finalist in the National Design Awards in Communication, and recognized as a prominent young innovator in Technology Review's TR35 (formerly the TR100) awards. She received her Sc.D in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2000.

Her research program focuses on developing the principles, techniques, and technologies for personal robots. She has developed numerous robotic creatures ranging from small hexapod robots, to embedding robotic technologies into familiar everyday artifacts (e.g., clothing, lamps, desktop computers), to creating highly expressive humanoids --- including the well-known social robot, Kismet. Ongoing research includes the development of socially intelligent robot partners that interact with humans in human-centric terms, work with humans as peers, and learn from people as an apprentice. Other projects have explored how HRI can be applied to enhance human behavior as applied to motor learning and cognitive performance. The ability of these robot systems to naturally interact, learn from, and effectively cooperate with people has been evaluated in numerous human subjects experiments. More recent work investigates the impact of long-term HRI applied to communication, quality of life, health, and educational goals.

Stephen Brewster

Stephen Brewster is a Professor of Human-Computer Interaction in the Department of Computing Science at the University of Glasgow, UK. His main research interest is in Multimodal Human-Computer Interaction, sound and haptics and gestures. He has done a lot of research into Earcons, a particular form of non-speech sounds.

He leads the Multimodal Interaction Group within the Glasgow Interactive Systems Group (GIST), one of the largest HCI research groups in the UK and an inter-disciplinary group investigating all aspects of interactive systems from graphics, to sounds, from User Interface Management Systems to the psychology of interaction and formal specifications of user interfaces. A current research focus is on the design and evaluation of novel interfaces for mobile devices that can be used on the move. The GAIME project is investigating how we use non-hand based gestures (e.g. wrist rotation, head movements) and 3D sound to improve mobile interaction.

Frédéric Kaplan

Frederic Kaplan graduated as an engineer of the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Telecommunications in Paris and received a PhD degree in Artificial Intelligence from the University Paris VI. He worked ten years as a researcher at Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Paris and supervises now a new team on interactive furniture at CRAFT laboratory of the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL). His most recent research focuses on the design of robotic objects. In 2008, he founded OZWE, a company that produces new kinds of personal computers.

In his research, Frederic Kaplan has been exploring technologies permitting to endow objects with a personal history so that they become different as we interact with them and to learn from one another, thus creating an ecosystem in perpetual evolution. With his colleague Pierre-Yves Oudeyer, he developed a new family of theoretical architectures based on the notion of intrinsic motivation systems, that has been used successfully to create curiosity-driven machines. In parallel with his investigations in artificial intelligence, he collaborates regularly with developmental psychologists, ethologists, neuroscientists, designers and architects. His researches have been published in international scientific journals of these different fields. He authored two popular science books in French La naissance d'une langue chez les robots (the birth of a language among robots) (Hermes, 2001) and Les machines apprivoisées: comprendre les robots de loisir (Tamed machines: understanding entertainment robots) (Vuibert, 2005) and co-authored a collection of prospective essays "Futur 2.0" (Fyp 2007). He is also the chief editor of the multidisciplinary journal Frontiers in Neurorobotics publishing leading edge research in the science and technology of embodied autonomous neural systems. His robots and devices have been exhibited in several museums including the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.