Themes

Our lab works with interdisciplinary research projects that combine advanced engineering with philosophy, art, aesthetics and other disciplines from the humanities. We aim to create disruptive media and interaction technologies, which will radically change not only the way people entertain themselves but how they live, work and think.

Themes:

Visual Technology: from Computing to Communication

We define visual technology as, “technology and methods that support visually mediated communication over distances in space and time.” We have two research directions, visual communication, and visual computing. Visual Communication effectively uses visual entities, like images, videos to persuade, entertain, inform, and enlighten an observing audience of products, ideas, and messages. Visual Computing deals with the acquisition, analysis, understanding, and synthesis of visual data and people data through computational approaches. Our primary aim of visual computing is to understand and read people accurately and to use visual entities for the manipulation of everything around us, tangible or intangible.

Humanistic AI: A humanistic approach to AI

AI is clearly going to have an accelerating impact on our daily lives. What role can humanistic thinking play in the future of AI? The major waves on future AI are created by machine learning, automation, big data, cognitive computing, deep learning and other technologies. They are all waves of technological engineering. Therefore, it is important that we also develop a strong humanistic stance with respect to AI to avoid a situation of technological intelligencia overrunning humanism. We need to study and redesign the ways people interact with AI systems and make sure we develop technologies that are compatible with our free liberal democratic society’s core values and study how we can build and design systems that benefit and create real value for real people. But a humanistic stance cannot only offer critical perspective. A humanistic stance can also be a source of innovation in AI. AI has much to learn from research in the humanities that could be of great use in the engineering of future AI technologies.

Big Data: from Association to Causation

During the past two decades the science of big data--a new data science has been born. Big data technology can detect and establish relationships or associations between specific values of categorical variables in large data sets. In real-world applications we find that questions in the health, social and behavioral sciences are usually not associational but causal in nature. We need to go one step further and engage in causal analysis. The aim with causal analysis is to discern relations under conditions of perpetual flux.

Phenomenology of Interaction

We work with mediated communication and VR technology from a perspective of phenomenology. Phenomenology explores ways that our physical environments including the things and instruments in such environments matter for experience, cognition, problem solving, and for shaping our physical and social interactions. Exploring phenomenological approaches to perception and interaction in these domains opens up for interesting new research with much potential. The potential lies in designing mediated communication and VR environments that suit human needs better from a perspective of embodied interaction. Our research combines, engineering, mechatronics, robotics, computer vision, human-computer interaction and phenomenological philosophy.

Philosophy of Technology

We apply philosophical thinking in approaching information technology. One way we do this is through combining Eastern and Western approaches in thinking about technology. Modern information technology was born out of the Western intellectual tradition. Could an Eastern perspective on information technology help us understand and come to terms with some of the challenges of modern information technology? Could we design new and novel information technology from Eastern perspectives? We are also interested in other applications of philosophy to technology that relates to information technology and the modern media world.