Affect and Personality in Robots vs. Humans
I am a University Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at University of Cambridge's Department of Computer Science and Technology. Prior to that I was a Senior Lecturer / Lecturer in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), a postdoctoral researcher at Imperial College London, and an honorary associate of University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). My research interests are in the areas of affective computing and social signal processing that lie at the crossroad of multiple disciplines including, computer vision, signal processing, machine learning, multimodal interaction and human-robot interaction. I have authored numerous papers in these areas ( ~ 4100 citations, H-index=28).
My current research vision is to embrace the challenges present in the area of health and empower the lives of people through creating socio-emotionally intelligent technology. This vision is currently supported by three new projects funded by prestigious and competitive grants via the EU H2020 Programme (2019–2021), the EPSRC Fellowship Programme (2019–2024) and the Turing Fellowship Programme (2019-2021).
My previous research work has focussed on Digital Personhood through the EPSRC Being There Project (2013-2017) that aimed to produce greater social integration of robots in public spaces, and to increase access to public spaces in robot proxy forms. I Guest Edited the Frontiers in Robotics and AI’s Research Topic on Affective and Social Signals for HRI. I have been invited to serve as an Associate Editor for a number of robotics conferences including IEEE RO-MAN 2016-2018 and ACM/IEEE HRI 2017-2018.
I am the President (Oct 2017-Oct 2019) of the Association for the Advancement of Affective Computing (AAAC) and was previously the Chair of the Steering Board of IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing. I have also served as an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, and Image and Vision Computing, and Guest Editor of Special Issues in International Journal of Synthetic Emotions , Image and Vision Computing, and ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems. I have acted as an organiser and PC member for numerous workshops and conferences in my areas of research and expertise. I am the General Co-Chair of ACII 2019 and was the Program Co-Chair of IEEE FG 2017. I am also a member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council UK's EPSRC Peer Review College.
In June 2017 I was a Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Information Technology at Uppsala University, Sweden that granted me funding as part of their Visiting Female Researcher Scheme for Gender Equality. In the period of May 2015 – June 2015 I was an invited Visiting Associate Professor at the Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique (ISIR), UPMC Sorbonne Universities (l'Université Pierre et Marie Curie) in Paris, France supported by the French state funds through the Labex SMART Project. From 2004 to 2007, I was a recipient of the Australian Government International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) awarded to top quality international postgraduate students, and the UTS Faculty of IT Research Training Stipend awarded to outstanding PhD candidates at UTS. I have also received a number of other awards for Outstanding Paper (with M.A. Nicolaou and M. Pantic @ IEEE FG 2011 ), Quality Reviewer (IEEE ICME 2011), Best Demo (with the Semaine team @ IEEE ACII 2009), and Best Student Paper (with M. Piccardi @ VisHCI 2006). I have been involved as PI and Co-I in several projects funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council UK (EPSRC), the European Union, the British Council and the InnovateUK.
I am passionate about science communication and public engagement. I have been interviewed by the BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and the BBC World Service for both radio and TV ('Click' radio and TV programme). I demonstrated my research LIVE at the Cambridge Science Festival (2017), Bristol Watershed (2016), @Bristol Science Center (2016), and the Wellcome Collection (2016). In 2018, I was one of the Cambridge's Hay 20 for The Hay Culture and Literary Festival talking about Demystifying the Human-like Robot. I also talked about the Future of Work in the 2018 Festival of Ideas and about Creating Technology with Socio-emotional Intelligence as part of the 2018 Cambridge Pint of Science Festival.