Keynote Speakers

TONY VEALE

Associate Professor
School of Computer Science
University College Dublin (UCD)
Ireland

Tony Veale is an associate professor in the School of Computer Science at University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland. He has worked in AI research for three decades, in academia and in industry, wit5h a special emphasis on humour and linguistic creativity. He is the author of the 2012 monograph Exploding the Creativity Myth: The Computational Foundations of Linguistic Creativity (from Bloomsbury), co-author of the 2016 textbook Metaphor: A Computational Perspective (from Morgan Claypool), and co-author of 2018’s Twitterbots: Making Machines That Make Meaning (from MIT Press). He led the European Commission’s coordination action on Computational Creativity (named PROSECCO), and collaborated on international research projects with an emphasis on computational humour and imagination, such as the EC’s What-IF Machine (WHIM) project. Veale currently chairs the ACC, the international association for Computational Creativity. He also runs a web-site dedicated to explaining AI with humour at:  RobotComix.com

Does Not Compute! Does Not Compute!  The Hows and Whys of Giving AIs as Sense of Humour

For much of its history, AI was a scientific discipline defined more by its portrayal in science fiction than by its actual technical achievements. Real AI systems are now catching up to their fictional counterparts, and are as likely to be seen in news headlines as on the big screen. Yet as AI matches or even outperforms people on tasks that were once considered yardsticks of human intelligence, one area of human experience still remains largely unchallenged by technology: our sense of humour. This is not for want of trying, as I will show. The true nature of humour has intrigued scholars for millennia, but AI researchers can now go one step further than philosophers, linguists and psychologists once could: by building computer systems with a sense of humour, capable of appreciating the jokes of human users or even of generating jokes of their own, we can turn academic theories into practical realities that amuse, explain, provoke and delight. This talk will challenge the archetype of the rigidly humourless machine in popular culture, to make a case for the necessity of a truly computational understanding of humour. By giving our machines the ability to understand and generate humour — including sarcasm and irony — we can  better understand ourselves as we construct machines that are more flexible, more understanding, and more willing to laugh at their own limitations.

SHEELAG CARPENDALE

Professor, and Canada Research Chair: Information Visualization
School of Computing Science
School of Interactive Arts and Technologies
Simon Fraser University
Canada

Dr. Sheelagh Carpendale  is a full professor and Canada Research Chair: Information Visualization in Computing Science at Simon Fraser University. She has received many top awards including the IEEE Visualization Career Award, an NSERC STEACIE (a Canadian Top Science Award); a BAFTA (British Academy of Film & Television Arts – similar to an Oscar in USA), Best Supervision Awards, the Canadian HCI Achievement Award and an Industrial Research Chair with SMART Technologies in Interactive Technologies. She is a Fellow in the Royal Society of Scientists and has been inducted into the both IEEE Visualization Academy and the ACM CHI Academy. Her research focuses on information visualization, interaction design, and qualitative empirical  research. By studying how people interact with information both in work and social settings, she works towards designing more natural, accessible and understandable interactive visual representations of data. She combines information visualization and human-computer interaction with innovative new interaction techniques to better support the everyday practices of people who are viewing, representing, and interacting with information. Her research in information visualization and interaction design draws on her complex background in Computer Science (BSc. and Ph.D Simon Fraser University) and Visual Arts (Sheridan College, School of Design and Emily Carr, College of Art).

Title and abstract — to be announced.