Award from Arnet Miner

According to Arnet Miner, the search engine supported by the Chinese Government, I am one of the top 100 researchers in Multimedia in the decade 2007-2017. According to the message they sent me (see below), this results from the analysis of 230 millions of documents collected over 368,402 venues.

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Dear Alessandro Vinciarelli,

We are pleased to inform you that you have been recognized as a Most Influential Scholar for your outstanding and vibrant contributions to the field of Multimedia. Congratulations!

In 2018, the AMiner Most Influential Scholar List names the world’s top-cited research scholars from the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The list is conferred in recognition of outstanding technical achievements with lasting contribution and impact to the research community. The 2018 winners are among the most-cited scholars from the top venues of their respective subject fields in recent ten years (between 2007 and 2017). Recipients are automatically determined by a computer algorithm deployed in the AMiner system that tracks and ranks scholars based on citation counts collected by top-venue publications.

AMiner (https://aminer.org) is a free online service for academic social network analysis and mining. As of 2018, the system has collected information on over 136 million researchers, 230 million publication papers, and 368,402 venues. The system has been in operation on the Internet since 2006 and has been visited by nearly 8.32 million independent IP accesses. It provides various search/mining services for publishers, NSFC, and research venues such as ACM/IEEE Transactions, ACM SIGKDD, ACM WSDM, and IEEE ICDM. Further details can be found online at the AMiner Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnetminer.

As part of the recognition, your research profile extracted from the AMiner database is being featured this month (March, 2019) on AMiner homepage. The full list of the most influential scholars can be found here:  https://www.aminer.cn/ai10/multimedia. For your information, you can sign up for an AMiner account and keep your personal profile and publications updated (https://aminer.org/profile/5405e3cbdabfae450f3de5dd).

Interview for The Telegraph

I have been interviewed by The Telegraph (https://www.telegraph.co.uk) about the findings of the Office for National Statistics according to which the number of works at risk of being replaced by AI and technology is decreasing with respect to 2011:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/03/25/rise-robots-fears-overestimated-new-employment-data-reveals/

It has been a good chance to state publicly that we are probably at the end of the hype cycle and it is now time to be more reasonable about the expectations we develop about the potential of AI and related technologies. Here are a few excerpts from the interview where I have been quoted more or less literally:

  • “When something like technology becomes fashionable, there’s a rise in major expectations, we reach a peak and then it comes back down to a more realistic expectation,”
  • “There have been major advancements in technology which have allowed us to do a lot of very good things but not as much as we were promised, so now people understand that all the promises about robots going to take over are not going to happen.”

It is maybe against my interest to be honest about the technologies I investigate, but at the end of the day my job is to serve that truth and not to serve my interests.

Joining the Editorial Board of the IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing

I have been invited to join the Editorial Board of the IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, the most important publication venue for any researcher investigating technologies dealing with social and affective signals:

https://www.computer.org/csdl/journal/ta/misc/14383?title=About&periodical=IEEE%20Transactions%20on%20Affective%20Computing

After publishing a large number of papers on the journal and benefitting from the great work of many Associate Editors, it is my turn to contribute with the difficult role of discriminating between the works that deserve publication and the others. The impact factor of the journal is 4.58, a value that accounts for the its reputation in the scientific community. With my great pleasure, I have a lot of very good friends among the other members of the Editorial Board.

Special Session at Interspeech 2019

Thanks to the great work of Anna Esposito, I have the pleasure to join the organising committee of the “Special Session on Dynamics of Emotional Speech Exchanges in Multimodal Communication“, to be held at Interspeech 2019:

https://www.interspeech2019.org/program/special_sessions_and_challenges/

The topics covered in the special session can be described as follows: “Research devoted to understanding the relationship between verbal and nonverbal communication modes, and investigating the perceptual and cognitive processes involved in the coding/decoding of emotional states is particularly relevant in the fields of Human-Human and Human-Computer Interaction.

The special session has been possible thanks to the H2020 funded project “Empathic” (http://www.empathic-project.eu/).

Appearance in “Forbes”

The business magazine Forbes features an article about the 16 Centres for Doctoral Training announced by UKRI on February 21st:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/samshead/2019/02/20/uk-government-to-fund-ai-university-courses-with-115m/#4fdc239c430d

The article explains that the UK government aims at keeping the pace with the USA and China in the AI race: “AI is poised to become the most significant technology for a generation but there are only so many people that know how to develop the technology, which could have a huge impact on industries such as healthcare, energy, and automotive.”

 

New Centre for Doctoral Training

I have been awarded one of the 16 UKRI Centres for Doctoral Training in Artificial Intelligence:

https://www.ukri.org/news/200m-to-create-a-new-generation-of-artificial-intelligence-leaders/

It will be for me the major opportunity to collaborate with 30 world leading colleagues and 15 major industrial partners for the training of 50 PhD students. We will investigate all together the nature of social intelligence in humans and machines. The project takes place at the University of Glasgow and it involves the School of Computing Science, the School of Psychology and the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology.

 

Interview for Voices in AI

I have been interviewed for Voices in AI, a series of conversations between Byron Reese and experts in Artificial Intelligence:

https://voicesinai.com/episode/episode-78-a-conversation-with-alessandro-vinciarelli/

The interview has focused on the interplay between human psychology and machine intelligence and, in particular, on how machines can learn how to “read the mind” of their users. After outlining the main applications (and the many emerging companies active in the area), the attention has shifted to the significant ethical issues underlying the development of these technologies. The main point we have made is that the danger does not come from technologies, but from people. Therefore, it is through societal choices and political regulation that socially intelligent Artificial Intelligence will be of benefit for people. Many thanks to Neurodata Lab for having created the opportunity of this interview.