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Staff photo Loïs Vanhée

Loïs Vanhée

Researcher & teacher. TAIGA co-director

Primary focus: Anxiety-Sensitive Artificial Intelligence

General interests: simulation, responsible AI, pedagogy and transdisciplinarity


Works at

Associate professor at Department of Computing Science
Affiliated as associate professor at Centre for Transdiciplinary AI

I am fascinated by the philosophical question of understanding what is intelligence, which I explore under the spectrum of artificial intelligence: how can one create features of intelligence in artificial systems? What does it say about the concept of intelligence?

As a practical implementation of this interest, most of my research revolved on producing accurate models of cognitive systems as we know them from psychology: cultures, values, norms, needs, networks, planning, cognitive workload etc. My recent research effort has been dedicated to develop the concept of AnxSAI (Anxiety-Sensitive Artificial Intelligence), i.e. systems that can replicate or account for (human) anxiety --both directly through my research, but also by gathering stakeholders, researchers and students around this question through discussions, events, and projects. If AI for anxiety is of your interest, please feel invited to contact me: I will gladly discuss the matter around a coffee.

I have been applying this knowledge for building social simulations (e.g. for helping policy-makers to mitigate the COVID crisis), and problem-solving (e.g. generating itineraries that can minimize user's anxiety). Whereas I have a solid computing-science background (and admitedly like to program), my scientific methods are fundamentally interdisciplinary, with a particular emphasis on establishing my models in strong psychology and sociology grounds. Half of my students arise from cognitive sciences and psychology and I have the honor to be a co-director of TAIGA, Umeå's transdisciplinary center on AI for Good, leading the Social AI focus area.

Beside this direct scientific interest, I have a strong interest on practical AI for social good applications. In addition to extensive implementation experience on social simulation (e.g. ASSOCC project), multiagent systems, robotics, and planning, both in industry and academia, I have been developping vision-broadening pedagogy methods (psychology-grounded AI ethics pedagogy, interdisciplinary research pedagogy) and have been studying the prospects of future AI-powered technologies on the fishing and energy-management sectors.

Some videos of public work

Public code

Affiliate member of the CRAFT Research Lab


Proceedings of the thirty-second international conference on automated planning and scheduling, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence 2022 : 730-740
Vanhée, Loïs; Jeanpierre, Laurent; Mouaddib, Abdel-Illah
The journal of artificial intelligence research, AI Access Foundation 2022, Vol. 73 : 933-965
Javed, Rana; Nasir, Osama; Borit, Melania; et al.
JASSS: Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, University of Surrey 2022, Vol. 25, (3)
Kreulen, Kurt; Bruin, Bart de; Ghorbani, Amineh; et al.
Advances in Social Simulation: Proceedings of the 16th Social Simulation Conference, 20–24 September 2021, Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2022 : 409-421
Jensen, Maarten; Verhagen, Harko; Vanhée, Loïs; et al.
The journal of artificial intelligence research, AI Access Foundation 2022, Vol. 73 : 619-631
Vanhée, Loïs; Borit, Melania
IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IEEE 2021 : 6434-6440
Vanhée, Loïs; Jeanpierre, Laurent; Mouaddib, Abdel-Illah
  • Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence
  • Advanced Artificial Intelligence
  • Paper writing
  • Cognitive interactions design
  • Computational logic
  • BSc and MSc thesis supervision, both computing science and cognitive science
    • I am always happy to supervise! Contact if you are interested in anxiety-related matters (ComSci & CogSci), planning under uncertainty (ComSci), or data processing for interdisciplinary research (ComSci)