CNR 2015: Lectures: Maria Vircikova (SVK): Intelligent Social Robots

Maria Vircíková, PhD. is a researcher in Artificial Intelligence in the field of human-robot interaction. She studied Cybernetics and A.I. at Technical University of Kosice. During her studies, she completed various courses worldwide e.g. at Christ's College, Cambridge University, at University di Minho in Portugal, at Max Planck Institute in Germany and Bauman State University in Moscow. Forbes Slovakia selected Maria as one of the 30 today´s brightest stars under the age of 30 in 2013 and 2014.

In 2015, she founded a startup Emomime that brings virtual humans to the shop windows able to attract people using machine intelligence. In June 2014 she successfully defended her PhD. Thesis: "Machine Empathy. Towards Artificial Emotional Intelligence with Active Personalization." She cooperated with Google Slovakia, staying in their office in July and August 2014. She was invited to give a TEDx talk on Intelligent Robotics in September 2014. In 2013, she was awarded as the best student of Slovakia, under the auspices of the President of the Slovak Republic. She also won the category of Math, Physics and IT awarded by Junior Chamber International. In 2013 she won an Intenda Award for her achievements in technical sciences. She teaches Humanoids Technologies and Service & Social Robotics.

During the 2013, Kosice the European Capital of Culture she organized various events: a worldwide Artificial Human Companion Programming Contest, an exhibition on Robotic Emotions in a gallery and a popular event called Breakfast with Artificial Intelligence. She was the one who made the first show with the ASIMO humanoid robot in Slovakia, together with a team from Honda Belgium during 2013 Night of Researchers.

IT Valley Kosice honored her MSc. Thesis on Artificial Intelligence for Humanoids as the best in the region of IT Valley Kosice in 2010. She visited MIT Media lab in 2009. Since then, she had gave lectures at different universities in Japan and she presented her results at more than 30 conferences (Australia, Japan, USA, China and Europe).

She is an active member of TEDxKosice, Google Developers Group, European Network for the Advancement of Artificial Cognitive Systems, Interaction and Robotics and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers(IEEE). In the field of robotics she focuses on affective computing and the adaptation of behavior of the robotic system according to requirements of user, what is a crucial issue especially in social robotics.

Intelligent social robots
We are developing intelligent social robots for different environments, in which the criteria is to make the interaction with people entertaining and effective, e.g.:

1. robots for elderly care: robotic companions for person's daily living and working environment to enable them to stay active longer, remain socially connected and live independently into old age,

2. robotic physiotherapists to teach anti-back pain exercises,

3. robotic tutors of foreign language in elementary schools,

4. etc.

Usually, the experiments in the field of human-robot interaction are conducted using the "Wizard of Oz" technique, which means that the robot is not acting autonomously - it is teleoperated. We think robots should be learning systems. Moreover, they should be able of personalization, which represents a new stage of computing based on the subjectivity (including emotions) in the human perceptual process.

How A.I. robot learns how to motivate users to do something (e.g. continue exercising)? How it adapts its behavior according to the user's preferences?

[image source: Maria Vircikova]
[source: Vive Les Robots!]

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Cafe Neu Romance 2015:


Mari 5

PhD Maria Vircikova is a researcher in Artificial Intelligence in the field of human-robot interaction.

Intelligent Social Robots
Maria Vircikova will present her lecture "Intelligent Social Robots" at Cafe Neu Romance on the 27 November 2015 at Galerie NTK.

Galerie NTK
Technická 6
16080 Prague.