Catharine Oertel and Mark Neerincx received funding for a new research project ePartners4All: a (personalised and) blended care solution with a virtual buddy for child health.
In this project, they take digital support of school-aged children and their caregivers a big leap forward, by not only monitoring their health, but also providing interactive e-health solutions (so-called ePartners), including robot buddies and virtual agents that enhance children’s health and well-being. A needs assessment, ePartners4All development, and pilot study will be performed in co-creation with end-users. These ePartners can help to prevent health problems in at-risk children, and it can help to recognise and treat health problems at an early-stage, thereby preventing deterioration of the problem. In this way, ePartners4All can help to create a more resilient society. Altogether, it could lead to lower healthcare utilisation and, in the long-run, a more resilient workforce with lower losses of productivity.

Topics of the research are:

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The aim of the research involves .....
Staff involved: Catharine Oertel and Mark Neerincx.

Prof. Dr. Catholijn M. Jonker (INSY-depart. Delft Univ. of Technology), Dr. Tibor Bosse (AI dept. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), and International Behavioural Therapeutic Centre “Stichting De Roedel” initiated a long term research programme on dog cognition. The research is based on a set of aspects that are important to the method developed by International Behavioural Therapeutic Centre “Stichting De Roedel” to improve the relation between handler and dog.

Topics of the research are:

  •     The relation between scent- and body-language.
  •     How does this relation affect behaviour and how do other stimulants from the environment influence this behaviour.

The aim of the research involves a better understanding of dog behaviour thus supporting improvements in dog education methods.
Staff involved: Catholijn M. Jonker.

Hybrid Intelligence (HI) is the combination of human and machine intelligence, expanding human intellect instead of replacing it. HI takes human expertise and intentionality into account when making meaningful decisions and perform appropriate actions, together with ethical, legal and societal values. Our goal is to design Hybrid Intelligent systems, an approach to Artificial Intelligence that puts humans at the centre, changing the course of the ongoing AI revolution.
Staff involved: Catholijn M. Jonker, Mark Neerincx , Frans Oliehoek and Myrthe Tielman.

Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies

Throughout history, technology has been a driver of social change. The technologies of the industrial revolution played a crucial role in shaping modern society, and society has since then continued to be shaped by technological innovations. The project focuses on technologies that will not just change specific domains or practices for which they were designed, but that will change our life in a much broader sense. They are called socially disruptive technologies (SDTs). SDTs transform everyday life, social institutions, cultural practices, and the organisation of the economy, business, and work. They may even affect our fundamental beliefs, rights, and values. Artificial Intelligence is one of those techniques. Together with the philosophers of technology we research new ethical frameworks and concepts to obtain ethical AI by design.
Staff involved: Catholijn M. Jonker.

Decision-theoretic sequential decision making (SDM) is concerned with endowing an intelligent agent with the capability to choose the 'best' actions, i.e., those that that optimize the agent's performance on its task. SDM techniques have the potential to revolutionize many aspects of society, and recent successes, e.g., agents that learn to play Atari games and beat master Go players, have sparked renewed interest in this field.
However, despite these successes, fundamental problems of scalability prevent SDM methods from addressing other problems with hundreds or thousands of state variables. To overcome this barrier, INFLUENCE will develop a new class of `influence-based SDM methods' that address scalability issues by using novel ways of abstraction, thus making an important step towards realizing the promise of autonomous agent technology.
Staff involved: Frans A. Oliehoek.

The M2MGrids project aims to develop a horizontal platform in which physical sensors and devices can communicate with IT systems to allow for smart information exchange. A key business case within the project involves the research and development of automated dynamic power systems to allow for a smart flow of energy and data within the energy grid. As an example, imagine a scenario where a high power consumption is measured for a certain district of consumer homes. A present-day solution would be to raise the production of power to balance the consumption and production of power. However, a smart solution would be to re-schedule certain flexible devices within the home of a consumer (like a dishwasher or a washing machine) such that this problem dissolves by merely using devices and data in a smart way. Within the M2MGrids project, Delft is using their negotiation theory expertise to research and develop platforms which can be used within future smart homes to enable this smart scheduling of flexible devices. By creating platforms that enables a more effective and efficient use of energy, Delft is paving the way for a better and greener future!
Staff involved: Catholijn M. Jonker.

The ReJAM project aims to develop Robots engaging elderly in Joint Activities with Music. The objective of ReJAM is the promotion of physical, cognitive, emotional and social wellbeing through various music-related activities, e.g. physical exercises, games, reminiscence, and making music together. The activities are designed especially for group activities: ReJAM is well-suited for use in meeting centers or together with visitors at home.
Staff involved: Mark A. Neerincx.

The overall aim of the project is to develop a reasoning framework that combines logic and quantitative techniques for Socially Adaptive Electronic Partners (SAEPs) that adapt their behavior to norms and values of people. This becomes more and more important as technology becomes an integral part of our daily lives. The computational reasoning techniques are aimed at determining when and to what extent norm-compliance can be guaranteed, and deciding what to do if in exceptional situations a norm cannot or should not be complied with.
Staff involved: Myrthe Tielman (PI), Catholijn M. Jonker.

The PAL (Personal  Assistant for healthy Lifestyle) project proposal for Horizon 2020 was “favourably evaluated”  and started on the 1st of March 2015 (EU grant is 4.5M Euro; ref. H2020-PHC-643783).  This 4 year project involves the research partners TNO (coordinator), DFKI, FCSR, Imperial and Delft University of Technology, next to end-users (the hospitals Gelderse Vallei and Meander, and the Diabetics Associations of Netherlands and Italy), and SME’s (Mixel and Produxi).  PAL will use, refine and extend the knowledge-base and support models of ALIZ-E to improve child’s diabetes regimen by assisting the child, health professional and parent. The PAL system will be composed of a social robot (NAO), its (mobile) avatar, and an extendable set of (mobile) health applications (diabetes diary, educational quizzes, sorting games, etc.), which all connect to a common knowledge-base and reasoning mechanism.
Staff involved: Mark A. Neerincx.

We try to create mobile apps that provide value-sensitive support for families with children in the elementary school age, through using agreement technologies such as norms and social commitments.
Staff involved: Mark A. Neerincx.

Robots can be useful members of a rescue team in case of a disaster, but only if they do not burden the humans with complex controls. In my work I search for ways to make robots good team-members, so they automatically know where and to whom they can be of use. One of my methods is to systematically sabotage robot communication to find out what are good strategies to recover from this.
Staff involved: Mark A. Neerincx.

This project studies how effectively and in what manner a stand-alone, multi-modal memory restructuring (3MR) system and Internet-based guided self-therapy version could be used for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder patients (PTSD).
Staff involved: Mark A. Neerincx, Willem-Paul Brinkman.

Negotiation is a complex emotional decision-making process aiming to reach an agreement to exchange goods or services. Although a daily activity, few people are effective negotiators. Existing support systems make a significant improvement if the negotiation space is well-understood, because computers can better cope with the computational complexity. However, the negotiation space can only be properly developed if the human parties jointly explore their interests. The inherent semantic problem and the emotional issues involved make that negotiation cannot be handled by artificial intelligence alone, and a human-machine collaborative system is required. We are developing a new type of human-machine collaborative system that combines the strengths of both and reduces the weaknesses. Fundamental in these systems will be that user and machine explicitly share a generic task model. Furthermore, such systems are to support humans in coping with emotions and moods in human-human interactions. For this purpose we will contribute new concepts, methods and techniques. For integrative bargaining we will develop such a system, called a Pocket Negotiator, to collaborate with human negotiators. The Pocket Negotiator will handle computational complexity issues, and provide bidding- and interaction advice, the user will handle background knowledge and interaction with the opponent negotiator.
Staff involved: Catholijn M. Jonker.

The Interactive Intelligence section and TNO work on socio-cognitive robots that are able to interact with humans.  
Staff involved: Mark A. Neerincx.