21st International Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society Conference — FLAIRS-21: 15-17 May 2008

Silver Surfer


someday personal desktop ECAs?

“All that you know is at an end.” Silver Surfer


21 International Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society Conference — FLAIRS 21

Conference: 15-17 May 2008

Early registration: 24 March 2008

Grand Bay Miami hotel on South Bayshore Drive


“The 21st International Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society Conference (FLAIRS-21) will be held 15th-17th May 2008 at the Grand Bay Miami Hotel, in Coconut Grove, Florida, USA. FLAIRS-21 will feature technical papers, special tracks, and invited speakers. Coconut Grove is a few miles south of downtown Miami. It is known for its historic waterfront location on Biscayne Bay, and vibrant central district. The conference is hosted by the Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society, in cooperation with the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and with the support of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Miami.”

One of FLAIR-21’s invited speakers, Candy Sidner, will speak on “Embodied Intelligent Agents as Servants, Advisors, Companions and Jesters.

AI researchers are now putting all these pieces together, either as human-robot interaction (HRI) or, without the mechanical hardware, as on-screen agents (so called embodied conversational agents or ECAs). Building the first generation of such agents has required solving many engineering challenges, and many problems remain. In this talk, I’ll give some examples of intriguing embodied intelligent agents, both the physical and on-screen types. However, to be a real success, not only must the engineering get simpler, but there must be some reason for people to want to interact with them. [emphasis supplied] In this talk, I will also look at what some of these reasons might be, drawing on my own work as well as others in HRI and ECAs.

Candace Sidner is a division scientist at BAE Systems Advanced Information Technologies. She was previously a senior research scientist at Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories. She earned her Ph.D. at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Sidner is a fellow and past councilor of AAAI, as well as having served as president of the Association for Computational Linguistics, chair of the 2001 and program cochair of the 2006 International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, and cochair of the 2004 SIGdial Workshop on Discourse and Dialogue, and general chair of the 2007 NAACL Human Language Technology conference.” …(invited speakers) (full announcement)

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

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Imagine your own ECA — a kind of personal “Silver Surfer” avatar — that surfs the Web as a conversational companion, giving you news and sharing ideas that might amuse you. Say, perhaps, new ways to throw pottery!

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Newcomb’s commentary: “If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.” Tathagata



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