Keynote Speakers

Michael Bronstein (Chair in Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition at Imperial College)

Michael Bronstein joined the Department of Computing as Professor in 2018. He has served as a professor at USI Lugano, Switzerland since 2010 and held visiting positions at Stanford, Harvard, MIT, TUM, and Tel Aviv University. Michael received his PhD with distinction from the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) in 2007. His main expertise is in theoretical and computational geometric methods for data analysis, and his research encompasses a broad spectrum of applications ranging from machine learning, computer vision, and pattern recognition to geometry processing, computer graphics, and imaging. Michael has authored over 150 papers, the book Numerical geometry of non-rigid shapes (Springer 2008), and holds over 30 granted patents. He was awarded four ERC grants, two Google Faculty Research awards, Amazon ML Research award, and the Royal Society Wolfson Merit award. During 2017-2018 he was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and since 2017, he is a Rudolf Diesel fellow at TU Munich. He was invited as a Young Scientist to the World Economic Forum, an honor bestowed on forty world’s leading scientists under the age of forty. Michael is a Fellow of IEEE and IAPR, alumnus of the Technion Excellence Program and the Academy of Achievement, ACM Distinguished Speaker, and a member of the Young Academy of Europe. In addition to academic work, Michael is actively involved in commercial technology development and start-up companies in leading technical and management roles. He was a co-founder and VP of technology at Novafora (2005-2009), co-founder and technical advisor at Videocites (2014-), and one of the chief technologists at Invision (2009-2012). Following the multi-million acquisition of Invision by Intel in 2012, Michael has been one of the key developers of the Intel RealSense 3D camera technology in the role of Principal Engineer. His most recent start-up Fabula AI exploits a novel class of geometric deep learning algorithms to address the global scourge of fake news in social media.

Grega Milcinski (CEO, Sinergise)

Born in 1980 in Slovenia, he studied Physics and co-founded Cosylab inc. at age 21, a company developing control systems for particle accelerators and large experiments in physics. In 2008 Grega moved to become CEO and co-founder of Sinergise, specialising in software for advanced geospatial applications, helping Europe to efficiently manage and control agriculture policy and introducing land administration systems to developing countries in Africa. With his colleagues they have recognised the potential of open Copernicus earth observation data early but soon hit a wall trying to use existing technologies to work with these large datasets. Deciding to do something about it, Sentinel Hub was born. A Copernicus Masters award winning service for processing and distribution of satellite data is exploiting AWS Public Datasets to provide seamless access to the data to more than 10.000 registered users, mostly web developers creating applications on top of remote sensing data. After working with governmental clients in Balkan, Western Europe, Asia and Africa, Grega is now engulfed in building a global Internet business, which is nowadays processing two million requests every day.

Detlef D Nauck (Chief Research Scientist for Data Science at BT Technology)

Detlef Nauck is the head of data science research in BT's Research and Innovation Division located at Adastral Park, Ipswich, UK. He is leading a group of international scientists working on Intelligent Data Analysis and Autonomic Systems. Detlef’s interest is making data analytic techniques more widely available by using AI to automate analytics and embedding them into systems and processes. His research focusses on developing new ways of analysing data to achieve better insights and how to conduct analytics professionally and responsibly. Detlef is a Visiting Professor at Bournemouth University and a Private Docent at the Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg, Germany. Detlef has over 25 years of experience in Data Analysis, Machine Learning and AI. Detlef holds an MSc (1990) and a PhD (1994) in Computer Science both from the University of Braunschweig, Germany. He also holds a Habilitation (post-doctoral degree) in Computer Science from the Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg, Germany (2000). Detlef has published over 120 papers, holds 6 patents and 30 active patent applications.

Giulio Sandini (Director of Research - Italian Institute of Technology)

Giulio Sandini is Director of Research at the Italian Institute of Technology and full professor of bioengineering at the University of Genoa. He was research fellow and assistant professor at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa and Visiting Research Associate at the Department of Neurology of the Harvard Medical School. In 1990 he founded the LIRA-Lab (Laboratory for Integrated Advanced Robotics, www.liralab.it) and in 1996 he was Visiting Scientist at the Artificial Intelligence Lab of MIT. Since 1980 Giulio Sandini coordinated several international projects in the area of computer vision, cognitive sciences and robotics. Among them the project RobotCub, funded by the "Cognitive Systems" unit of the European Union from 2004 to 2010, where he coordinated the activities of 11 European partners contributing to the realization of the iCub humanoid platform as a tool to investigate human sensory, motor and cognitive development. (FP6-P004370: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/71867/factsheet/en).

Keynote Title: Embodied Intelligence: from Robot Actions to Mutual Understanding

Abstract: Robotic technologies have been steadily improving in the last years up to a point that sensing and motion abilities of robots are approaching and in some cases exceeding those of humans. These abilities, spanning from robots able to express emotions to robots executing fantastic gymnastic exercises have created the impression that a society where humans and robots co-exist and collaborate is not very far away. Is this true?
During the talk I will argue that even if robots are motorically and sensorially very skilled and extremely clever in action execution, the technologies supporting their interaction with humans are still very primitive and based mainly on human ability to adapt to the technology rather than on mutual understanding. Stemming from this observation I will address three points: first the fact that the asymmetry between action execution and understanding is rooted in our limited knowledge of the mechanisms at the basis of human social interaction. Second that discovering the principles of mutual understanding is a necessary intermediate step to investigate alternative “artificial” technologies implementing such principles (airplanes do not flap wings but bird’s wings and airplane’s propellers are two different technologies acting on the same principles). Finally I will argue that robotics can serve a very crucial role by joining forces with the communities studying embodied intelligence and the cognitive aspects of social interaction and by co-designing robots able to establish a mutual communication channel with a human partner (the distinctive mark of human social interaction) [Sandini & Sciutti, 2018].