My Discourse on Creating Emotionally Intelligent Technology at the Royal Institution (June 24th, 2022)

Full Professor of Affective Intelligence & Robotics
Head of Affective Intelligence & Robotics Lab
Department of Computer Science and Technology, University of Cambridge
William Gates Building, 15 JJ Thomson Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 0FD, UK
E-mail: Hatice.Gunes(@)

EPSRC Fellow, The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (2019-present)
Staff Fellow, Trinity Hall Cambridge (2019-present)
Turing Faculty Fellow, Alan Turing Institute (2019-2021)

Research Interests: Artificial Emotional Intelligence, Affective Computing, Human Behaviour Understanding, Social Robotics, Wellbeing Technologies.

Short Bio

I am a Full Professor of Affective Intelligence and Robotics at University of Cambridge's Department of Computer Science and Technology. Prior to joining Cambridge in 2016, I was a Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), a postdoctoral researcher at Imperial College London, and an honorary associate of University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). My research interests are in the areas of affective computing and social signal processing that lie at the crossroad of multiple disciplines including, computer vision, signal processing, machine learning, multimodal interaction and human-robot interaction. I have authored more than 150 papers in these areas ( > 7,250 citations, H-index=36).

My current research vision is to embrace the challenges present in the area of health and empower the lives of people through creating socio-emotionally intelligent technology. This vision has been supported by three new projects funded by prestigious and competitive grants via the WorkingAge Project funded by the EU H2020 Programme (2019–2022), the EPSRC Fellowship Programme (2019–2024) and the Turing Faculty Fellowship Programme (2019-2022).

My previous research work has focussed on Digital Personhood through the EPSRC Being There Project (2013-2017) that aimed to produce greater social integration of robots in public spaces, and to increase access to public spaces in robot proxy forms. I Guest Edited the Frontiers in Robotics and AI’s Research Topic on Affective and Social Signals for HRI. I have been invited to serve as an Associate Editor for a number of robotics conferences including IEEE RO-MAN 2016-2021 and ACM/IEEE HRI 2017-2018.

I am a President-Emeritus (President in the period of Oct 2017-Oct 2019) of the Association for the Advancement of Affective Computing (AAAC) and was previously the Chair of the Steering Board of IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing. I have also served as an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, and Image and Vision Computing, and Guest Editor of Special Issues in International Journal of Synthetic Emotions , Image and Vision Computing, and ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems. I have acted as an organiser and PC member for numerous workshops and conferences in my areas of research and expertise. I was the General Co-Chair of ACII 2019, Program Co-Chair of IEEE/ACM HRI 2020 Program Co-Chair of IEEE FG 2017. I am also a member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council UK's EPSRC Peer Review College.

In June 2017 I was a Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Information Technology at Uppsala University, Sweden that granted me funding as part of their Visiting Female Researcher Scheme for Gender Equality. In the period of May 2015 – June 2015 I was an invited Visiting Associate Professor at the Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique (ISIR), UPMC Sorbonne Universities (l'Université Pierre et Marie Curie) in Paris, France supported by the French state funds through the Labex SMART Project. From 2004 to 2007, I was a recipient of the Australian Government International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) awarded to top quality international postgraduate students, and the UTS Faculty of IT Research Training Stipend awarded to outstanding PhD candidates at UTS. I have also received a number of other awards and recognitions including Distinguished Progam Committee Award @ IJCAI 2021, RSJ/KROS Distinguished Interdisciplinary Research Award Finalist @ IEEE RO-MAN 2021, Best Paper Award Finalist @ IEEE RO-MAN 2020, Outstanding Paper Award @ IEEE FG 2011, Quality Reviewer @ IEEE ICME 2011, Best Demo Award @ ACII 2008, and Best Student Paper Award @ VisHCI 2006. I have been involved as PI and Co-I in several projects funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council UK (EPSRC), the European Union, the British Council and the InnovateUK.

I am passionate about science communication and public engagement. I was honoured with an invitation to give a Friday Discourse on Creating Emotionally Intelligent Technology at the Royal Institution (June 2022) - a program with a history of almost 200 years! My research has been covered by more than 1,000 reports worldwide and I have been interviewed by various media channels, including The Guardian, Medical News Today (USA), the Times, the BBC World Service for both radio and TV ('Click' radio and TV programme) and BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. My lab has demonstrated our research LIVE at the Cambridge Festival (2022), the Cambridge Science Festival (2017), Bristol Watershed (2016), @Bristol Science Center (2016), and the Wellcome Collection (2016). In 2018, I was one of the Cambridge's Hay 20 for The Hay Culture and Literary Festival talking about Demystifying the Human-like Robot. I also talked about What Makes Us Human in the Age of AI at the 2019 Festival of Ideas, the Future of Work at the 2018 Festival of Ideas and about Creating Technology with Socio-emotional Intelligence as part of the 2018 Cambridge Pint of Science Festival.

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