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Prof. Toyoaki Nishida

Dept. of Intelligence Science and Technology, Graduate School of Informatics, Kyoto University

Conversational Informatics: Toward Cultivating Wisdom from Conversational Interaction


People converse with each other for many reasons: to exchange information, to discuss an issue, to resolve a conflict, to increase mutual understanding, to compose a joint story, or just for fun. Conversation will remain as a vital means for people to communicate with a vast variety of autonomous agents in the emerging human-agent symbiotic society, as people are sufficiently proficient and adaptive in expressing and interpreting thoughts and feelings by exploiting a sophisticated structure and dynamism of conversational interaction. Conversational informatics is a field of research that focuses on conversational interaction. On the scientific side, it attempts to unveil how mental processes interact with each other to share thoughts and feelings using social signals. On the engineering side, it aims at designing and implementing cognitive artifacts that can fluently interact with people and possibly with other cognitive artifacts in a conversational fashion. In this talk, I present a data-intensive approach to conversational informatics. It not only brings about quantitative understanding, permitting us to turn a great accumulation of keen observations into a pile of computational models, but also helps to build conversational agents by virtue of recent progress in machine learning and data mining, learning by imitation in particular. The topics include a smart space for allowing people to engage in conversation in a cyber-physical space, computer-vision for helping conversational intelligence produce/consume conversational content, content measurement analysis and modeling for quantitative understanding, learning by demonstration for conversational intelligence to autonomously learn conversation, cognitive design for communicating tacit intentions, and synthetic evidential study for understanding by synthetic performance.

Toyoaki Nishida


Toyoaki Nishida is Professor at Department of Intelligence Science and Technology, Graduate School of Informatics, Kyoto University. He received the B.E., the M.E., and the Doctor of Engineering degrees from Kyoto University in 1977, 1979, and 1984, respectively. His research centers on artificial intelligence and human computer interaction. He opened up social intelligence design and conversational informatics as a new field of research on the human-agent symbiosis. Together with his peers, he has organized a series of international workshops on social intelligence design and published several special issues on that subject in the AI & Society journal. He published a couple of books from Wiley and Springer in 2007 and 2014, respectively. In order to contribute to synergy in academic research, he is serving for numerous academic enterprises, including the AI & Society journal as an associate editor, the New Generation Computing journal as an area editor (Cognitive Computing), and the Science Council of Japan as an associate member. He was the president of JSAI (Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence) for FY 2010-2011. He has been appointed the research supervisor for the JST-CREST research area on Creation of Human- Harmonized Information Technology for Convivial Society, since January 2014.

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19th Annual
KES Conference
7, 8 & 9 Sept. 2015