The conference time zone is EET (Eastern Europe Time zone)

Linnar Viik: Vision Matters, Action Counts

Tuesday, October 27, 2020


Linnar Viik

Converting a vision of digital transformation into small actionable steps: what are the essential steps and how to move ahead? When building up information societies to create a better future for the citizens, countries usually focus on three aspects: connectivity, skills and services. People in most countries enjoy access to mobile internet and smart phones, they have taught themselves how to use these intuitive devices and have plenty of entertaining and socially engaging services available. At the same time, online public services are not that commonly available and utilized. It is recognised today that building entrepreneurial skills, engineering skills, and a deep understanding of how digital technologies work and how to develop innovations is something that takes much more time and effort than developing mobile internet coverage. Similarly, deployment of local services that integrate local business, governmental and societal needs takes more time than anticipated. This is not a situation that many countries have envisaged, or have they? To overcome the complexity of digital transformation, the visions on how to enable and provide data rich services that transform public administration, economy and society, need to be translated into (smaller) programmes and most important - actions that create and deliver impact. How to achieve this?

BiographyLinnar Viik is an Estonian information technology scientist, entrepreneur and IT visionary. Currently he is a visiting lecturer at University of Tartu, Estonian Academy of Arts and Tallinn University, founder and Programme Director at Estonian e-Governance Academy, Co-Founder and Member of the Supervisory Board of Pocpay, Partner and Member of the Board of Mobi Solutions, Member of the Board of Directors of Fortumo. He is also Chairman of the Supervisory Board of EIT Digital, Member of the Supervisory Board of SEI Tallinn, Member of the Advisory Board of Lisbon Council. Linnar has been member of the Board and lecturing at Estonian IT College since 2000 where he was appointed Acting Rector in 2010. Linnar Viik was founding Member of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology Governing Board, member of Advisory Board of Nordic Investment Bank, member of the Research and Development Council of Estonia, Chairman of the Board of the Open Estonia Foundation. He is a founder and member of the boards of several mobile communications, broadband and software companies, former advisor to the Prime Minister of Estonia on ICT, innovation, R&D and civic society issues. Earlier occupations include United Nations Development Programme as advisor and Stockholm Environment Institute as Councillor. Linnar Viik has written over 120 articles and 10 reports, mostly on the topics of Knowledge Based Economy and Implications of Information Society, as well as being instrumental in the rapid development of Estonian computer and network infrastructure, as well as the Estonian Internet Voting and eSignature projects.

Pia Tikka: Narrative contextualisation: Overriding the artificiality of Artificial Humane Agents

Wednesday, October 28, 2020


Pia Tikka

This talk argues that the challenge of reaching a sufficient level of human-likeness of humane artificial agents, this is, the point where one would trust an artificial car dealer, or a virtual medical doctor, lies elsewhere than in the technically detailed appearance of the artificial agent. Instead, the believability of such an agent rests in the emotive-cognitive contextualization of the interaction, in order words, taking into account the implicit and explicit psychological dependencies related to the context. To tackle this issue, the research on narratives and storytelling is proposed as a framework to facilitate the endeavor of modeling contextual aspects into the adaptive interaction dynamics of an artificial character designed to elicit trustfulness and confidence in the human agent. A selection of case studies is discussed in the light of cognitive neuroscientific findings on artificial agents and narrative contextualization, particularly from the point of view of societal and medical applications.

BiographyDr. Pia Tikka, is a professional filmmaker and EU Mobilitas Research Professor at the Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School (BFM) and MEDIT Centre of Excellence, Tallinn University. She has directed fiction films “Daughters of Yemanjá”, “Sand Bride”, and the Möbius Prix Nordic winning cinematic installation “Obsession”. As the leader of the research on Enactive Cinema, she has published on the topics of enactive media and narrative complex systems, and written the book "Enactive Cinema: Simulatorium Eisensteinense. She is the principal investigator of NeuroCine research project (2010 – ongoing). In the field of naturalistic neurosciences, she has acted as a core member of the directory group of neuroscience research project aivoAALTO at the Aalto University (2010-2014). Her research in neurocinematics is focusing on studying the neural basis of storytelling and creative imagination. She has contributed to the neuroeconomics as a member of the advisory board in NeuroService research project at the Laurea University of Applied Sciences, funded by Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (2014–2015). She is a Fellow of Life in the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image. Currently, as the EU Mobilitas Pluss Top Researcher, she leads research on the human experience of co-presence with context-aware virtual characters in her Enactive Virtuality Lab.

Ellen Pearlman: I Built A Sicko AI – And So Can You

Thursday, October 29, 2020


Ellen Pearlman

Artificial Intelligence (AI) agents are exponentially increasing in power and sophistication. With the addition of OpenAI’s breakthrough new algorithm GPT-2 into the toolbox of developers, the ability to mimic human dialogue and produce fake, but believable interactions between humans and computer-based agents has arrived. In developing “AIBO” (Artificial Intelligent Brainwave Opera), an emotionally intelligent artificial intelligent brainwave opera, I created a biased, or ‘sicko’ AI as one of the two main characters who explore their fourteen year relationship. The opera contemplates two questions: ‘Can an AI be fascist?” and “Can an AI have epigenetic, or inherited traumatic memory. The implications of my discoveries can help shape new directions for the development of how smart systems interact with human beings.

BiographyDr. Ellen Pearlman is a new media artist, critic, curator and educator whose practice explores the implications of emerging technologies on self and society. A 2020 EU Vertigo STARTS Laureate, she is also a Zero1 American Arts Incubator/U.S. State Department of Cultural Affairs artist to the Ukraine. Dr. Pearlman is a Fulbright World Learning Specialist in Art, New Media and Technology, a senior research assistant professor at RISEBA University in Latvia, on faculty at Parsons/New School, and Director of ThoughtWorks Arts, a global technology research lab.