Invited Speakers


When your gaming teammate is a social robot!

Ana Paiva, University of Lisbon, INESC-ID

Abstract: TBA

Bio: Ana Paiva is a Full Professor in the Department of Computer Engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) from the University of Lisbon and is also the Coordinator of GAIPS – “Intelligent Agents and Synthetic Characters Group” at INESC-ID (see Her group investigates the creation of complex systems using an agent-based approach, with a special focus on social agents. Prof. Paiva’s main research focuses on the problems and techniques for creating social agents that can simulate human-like behaviours, be transparent, natural and eventually, give the illusion of life. Over the years, she has addressed this problem by engineering agents that exhibit specific social capabilities, including emotions, personality, culture, non-verbal behaviour, empathy, collaboration, and others. She has contributed to the use of social agents within a wide range of application fields, in particular in the research areas of intelligent learning environments, social simulation, serious games and entertainment.

Race for the Galaxy: A Neural Network in Production

Theresa Duringer, Temple Gates Games

Abstract: One key to creating a replayable strategy game is offering a competitive AI. Race for the Galaxy, a digital adaptation of the boardgame, uses temporal difference learning to power its AI. This knowledge-free system requires no human input to generate training data, which allows it to improve by playing against itself. Using predictive learning, Race’s AI has helped it become one of this year’s top selling digital boardgames. Not all games are good candidates for this kind of neural network, but those which are could dramatically improve the challenge level offered by AI opponents through reinforcement learning.

Bio: Theresa Duringer is CEO of Temples Gates Games, a San Francisco based game studio creating award-winning boardgames for Android and iOS. Her team is known for digitizing Ascension, Race for the Galaxy, and Roll for the Galaxy and integrating machine learning AI to challenge even the most experienced players. With a focus on delivering seamless UX with high performance, she uses their custom C++ engine to create flexible solutions for the challenges of delivering games across platforms. Prior to founding Temple Gates Games, she co-created Cannon Brawl and contributed on the Sims, Sim City, and Spore at Maxis.

Title TBA

Darius Kazemi, Tiny Subversions

Abstract: TBA

Bio: Darius Kazemi is an internet artist under the moniker Tiny Subversions. His best known work is the Random Shopper (a program that bought him random stuff from Amazon each month). He has a small army of social media bots that he builds because they make him laugh. He founded NaNoGenMo, where participants spend a month writing algorithms to generate 50,000 word novels, and Bot Summit, a yearly gathering of people who make art bots. He cofounded Feel Train, a creative technology cooperative. He is a 2018-2019 Mozilla Open Web Fellow and is working with Code for Science & Society on the decentralized web.