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AVIOS 2017 conference held at HIT

The AVIOS 2017 conference was held at HIT under the slogan Technologies Interfacing Community. The lectures emphasized various aspects of Human - Machine Interaction for special populations.
Dr. Roberto Pieraccini, Director, advanced conversational Technologies, Jibo
Dr. Roberto Pieraccini, Director, advanced conversational Technologies, Jibo
The participants explored the challenges of designing for the elderly, created an added value health application interfaces with Watson, looked at children’s psychology effecting the choice of technological design and explored educational assistive and accessibility needs. They were introduced to the startups who have created digital, user friendly, devices & applications which are intended to help all segments of community to interact freely and naturally.

The conference's steering committee included representatives form all of HIT's five faculties and the conference's topic Technologies Interfacing Community was chosen for its relevancy to all of them,  which also reflects HIT's multidisciplinary agenda.

Among the Keynote speakers were Prof. Sarit Kraus ,Bar Ilan University, who talked about computer agents that interact proficiently with people and can be useful in supporting or replacing people in complex tasks. In her lecture she showed how combining machine learning techniques for human modeling, human behavioral models, formal decision-making and game theory approaches enables agents to interact well with people.
Dr. Shaked head of the new multidisciplinary track at HIT.
Dr. Nava Shaked head of the new multidisciplinary track at HIT

Dr. Roberto Pieraccini, Director, advanced conversational Technologies, Jibo, introduced the first Social Robot- Jibo, that includes both embedded and cloud speech recognition, natural language understanding, text-to-speech, and speaker identification as well as a moving body that helps him communicate more effectively, express emotions, and create social bonds with his users.

Other speakers included, among others, Dr. Hadas Lewy, from Clalait Health services talked about treatment of chronic patients and social inclusion in the elderly. She had demonstrated how New wearable and mobile technologies, unobtrusive monitoring, robots ,apps and services for older people are being developed to enables the all parties (e.g. healthcare, welfare, community) to receive relevant reliable information and respond in a timely and personalized way that will address the specific needs of the patient\elderly person.

Rotem Israel, from the faculty of instructional technologies at HIT talked about "Kids 4 Kids"- a unique joint program of IBM Israel and the Holon Institute of Technology (HIT) on its 14th year of implementation. The goal of the program is to create dialogue between 20 Jewish and Arab pupils by creating a cooperative product for the community. The program aims to create relationships among three pairs of groups: 1) Industry and Academia; 2) Pupils and people with intellectual disabilities; and 3) Jewish and Arab Children.

Prof. Eduard Yakubov said in his greeting that HIT is the natural hub for such events as Avios, since it reflects the precise multidisciplinary approach of applied research together with teaching multidisciplinary courses in its various faculties.

Dr. Nava Shaked, from the Faculty of Engineering at HIT ,a member of the AVIOS board and the founder of the  local Israeli chapter of AVIOS which she chairs, talked about the evolvement of the human conversation and the new world of Bots, Virtual agents, Smart agents and Avatars.
This is the new direction the world is taking and the AVIOS conference demonstrates how the title of "Technologies interfacing community" is the most relevant issue in the agenda today. Dr. Shaked was nominated recently as head of the new multidisciplinary track at HIT.