2017 IEEE Conference on Cognitive and Computational Aspects of Situation Management
27-31 March 2017 – Savannah, GA

More Speaker Information

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Here we will be posting invited speaker and keynote abstracts and bios.


Keynote Presentation: Dr. Kris Hammond, Narrative Science

“Communicating with the New Machine: Human Insight at Machine Scale”
Abstract: The world of Big Data is at an inflection point.  We now have well understood methods for metering, monitoring, gathering and analyzing massive data sets in business, government, public policy and our day-to-day lives.  Mechanisms for large-scale analysis of the data sets we now control can discover powerful correlations, historical trends and operational predications.  All of this has been achieved through exceptional technical developments in scale and analytics.  More recently, the rise of machine learning has given us even greater power to mine our data for information. But this is not the end of the game.  In fact, it is only the first step in making these insights available and useful to the decision makers who need them.

In this talk, I will outline how the technology of automatic narrative generation from data plays the crucial role of bridging the gap between the Big Data world of facts and figures and the still unmet need for understandable insights.  I will dive into use cases from business, education and the still untapped world of social media and show how the power of automatically generated narratives can provide us all with the evidence and articulation of the insights that are still trapped in the massive data repositories we now control.

Bio: Dr. Hammond is a Professor of Computer Science and Journalism at Northwestern. He is also a co-founder and Chief Scientist of Narrative Science, an Artificial Intelligence company focused on the generation of natural language narratives based on data and advanced analytics. Prior to joining the faculty at Northwestern, Professor Hammond founded the University of Chicago’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. His research has been primarily focused on artificial intelligence, machine-generated content and context-driven information systems. He recently sat on a United Nations policy committee run by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) focused on the regulation of autonomous lethal weapons. In 2015, he was awarded Technologist of the Year by the Illinois Technology Association. He received his Ph.D. from Yale.

Keynote Presentation: Dr. Doug Riecken, Program Officer Science of Information, Computation, Learning and Fusion, Air Force Office of Scientific Research

Minsky K-line Memory: Integration of Multi-Strategy Reasoning and Learning
Abstract: Theories and architectures that consider human/machine processing grounded on multi-strategy reasoning and learning investigate an essential set of questions in “machine intelligence” (biological and/or “silicon”).

You don’t understand anything until you learn it more than one way.”  — Marvin Minsky

There are opportunities in the theories of Minsky and others (e.g., Newell, Schank, LeCun, Mitchell and many others).  I will consider how Minsky’s K-Line Theory of Memory highlights valuable open questions that have impact on our future work.

As a simple starting point for my talk consider the following excerpt from Minsky’s K-Line paper:

When you “get an idea,” or “solve a problem,” or have a “memorable experience,’’ you create what we shall call a K-line. This K-line gets connected to those “mental agencies” that were actively involved in the memorable mental event. When that K-line is later “activated,” it reactivates some of those mental agencies, creating a “partial mental state” resembling the original.

Minsky’s Society of Mind (SOM) theories mixed with contributions from Minsky colleagues provide insight for future research.

Bio: Doug Reicken has worked for several decades with MIT’s Marvin Minsky. His research includes commonsense reasoning, cognitive architectures/theories of mind, and the role of emotions.  He has conducted research in agent based systems, end-user programming, music composition models, financial predictive modeling, big data analytics in smart-grid technologies and bioinformatics, real-time computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) environments, multimodal reasoning systems, and human/machine learning. He currently serves as a Program Officer at AFOSR.  Prior assignments include: Interim Director and Senior Scientist for the Center for Computational Learning Systems at Columbia University, Department Head of the Commonsense Computing Research Department at IBM Research, and Department Head for several departments at AT&T’s Bell Laboratories Research. Over the years, Riecken and his departments have created and delivered numerous research contributions, products and services. He has over 70 publications including several best paper awards and keynote addresses while serving on various advisory/editorial boards.

Keynote Presentation: Dr. John D. Lee, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Trusting Increasingly Autonomous Cars
  Abstract: Increasingly autonomous cars are transforming what it means to drive, and this transformation is emblematic of changes in other domains: finance, military operations, healthcare, manufacturing, and the home. Driving is a microcosm of autonomy. As in other domains, technology does not substitute for people, but transforms their roles. Increasingly these roles are not as a supervisor of automation, but as a partner in a network of interacting agents. This role suggests a need to re-think the concepts of trust and situation awareness. Most generally, this means considering people’s world view and their assumptions regarding the persistence of the natural and moral order that guides the evolution of trust and situation awareness. More specifically, rather than focusing on how automation reliability influences reliance, it may be more productive to focus on how automation collegiality influences cooperation. To promote appropriate trust we need to move beyond creating transparent automation that displays its purpose, process, performance to creating responsive and responsible automation that has controls for aligning its goals, adapting its strategies, and adjusting it behavior. The dimensions of autonomy most relevant for these considerations might not be levels of automation, but depth and breath of span of the control and time constant of interaction. This talk will link these theoretical considerations to research directions and design principles.


  Bio: John D. Lee is the Emerson Electric professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of the Cognitive Systems Laboratory. His research focuses on the safety and acceptance of complex human-machine systems by considering how technology mediates attention. He is a coauthor of the textbook, An Introduction to Human Factors Engineering, and he recently helped to edit The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Engineering, The Handbook of Driving Simulation, and two books on driver distraction. 

Dinner Speaker: Mr. Dave Gunning, DARPA

The Creation of Siri
Abstract: Siri was a product of DAPRA’s Personalized Assistant the Learns (PAL) project. In particular, it originated in SRI International’s effort under PAL, called the Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes (CALO). In this talk, David Gunning (who was the DARPA Program Manager for PAL) will describe Siri’s history – how the technology was created, formed into a startup, and acquired by Apple. He will summarize the history of the PAL program, highlighting the key events relevant to the creation of Siri, and summarize the sequence of events, following the PAL program, to create the Siri venture and have it acquired by Apple.
Bio: David Gunning is DARPA program manager in I2O. Dave with an extensive background in the development and application of artificial intelligence technology. Dave comes to DARPA as an IPA from Pacific Research National Lab (PNNL). Prior to PNNL, Dave was a Program Director for Data Analytics and Contextual Intelligence at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), a Senior Research Manager at Vulcan Inc., a Program Manager at DARPA (twice), SVP of SET Corp., VP of Cycorp, and a Senior Scientist in the Air Force Research Labs. At DARPA, Dave managed the Personalized Assistant that Learns (PAL) project that produced Siri and the Command Post of the Future (CPoF) project that was adopted by the US Army as their Command and Control system for use in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dave holds a M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University, a M.S. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Dayton, and a B.S. in Psychology from Otterbein College.