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Published: 2020-02-04

Real AI is Social AI

PROFILE Frank Dignum was inaugurated professor in Artificial Intelligence at Umeå University Årshögtid 2019.

Image: Mattias Pettersson

Human intelligence is of little use if not used in a social context in interaction with other people. The same holds for Artificial Intelligence (AI). Making AI social is not just adding a blinking eye to a character on the screen, but making it aware of the social context in which it makes decisions. Should a negotiation program find the optimal agreement for its user and force it upon the opponent or give in to some of the desires of the opponent to make her happy and want to make a good deal next time as well? Should a health care robot force a pill upon a person when there are visitors or wait until they are gone?

Frank Dignum investigates how social contexts determine human behavior through norms, practices, conventions, rituals and other such rules of social nature. Of special interest is the change this brings to AI techniques that have to be converted from finding optimal solutions to AI techniques that discover socially acceptable solutions. This is of interest in many areas ranging from health care robots to serious games and from e-coaches to agile production and from sustainable behavior to policy making.

About Frank Dignum's research


Frank Dignum was born in 1961 in Amsterdam. He received his PhD in 1989 from the Free University in Amsterdam. He set up the computer science department at the University of Swaziland between 1990-1991. In 1992, he was a lecturer at the Technical university of Lisbon. After that he was professor in the Netherlands.

He is a EurAI fellow and has organized major conferences in AI. He has authored many papers and books and is editor in chief of the Journal on Computational Socio-Cognitive Systems.

Read more about or contact Frank Dignum