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Keynotes Speakers

Prof. Jan Peters

Professor for Intelligent Autonomous Systems, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany

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Robotic Reinforcement Learning

Jan Peters is a full professor (W3) for Intelligent Autonomous Systems at the Computer Science Department of the Technische Universitaet Darmstadt since 2011, and, at the same time, he is the dept head of the research department on Systems AI for Robot Learning (SAIROL) at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz, DFKI) since 2022. He is also is a founding research faculty member of the Hessian Center for Artificial Intelligence. Jan Peters has received the Dick Volz Best 2007 US PhD Thesis Runner-Up Award, the Robotics: Science & Systems – Early Career Spotlight, the INNS Young Investigator Award, and the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society’s Early Career Award as well as numerous best paper awards. In 2015, he received an ERC Starting Grant and in 2022 the first and highest ranked EiC Transition grant. In 2019, he was appointed IEEE Fellow, in 2020 ELLIS fellow and in 2021 AAIA fellow.
Despite being a faculty member at TU Darmstadt only since 2011, Jan Peters has already nurtured a series of outstanding young researchers into successful careers. These include new faculty members at leading universities in the USA, Japan, Germany, Finland and Holland, postdoctoral scholars at top computer science departments (including MIT, CMU, and Berkeley) and young leaders at top AI companies (including Amazon, Boston Dynamics, Google and Facebook/Meta). Jan Peters has studied Computer Science, Electrical, Mechanical and Control Engineering at TU Munich and FernUni Hagen in Germany, at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the University of Southern California (USC). He has received four Master’s degrees in these disciplines as well as a Computer Science PhD from USC. Jan Peters has performed research in Germany at DLR, TU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics (in addition to the institutions above), in Japan at the Advanced Telecommunication Research Center (ATR), at USC and at both NUS and Siemens Advanced Engineering in Singapore. He has led research groups on Machine Learning for Robotics at the Max Planck Institutes for Biological Cybernetics (2007-2010) and Intelligent Systems (2010-2021).

Prof. Anton Nijholt

Emeritus-Professor Human Media Interaction, University of Twente, Netherlands

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Towards Ever-present Augmented Reality

After his Ph.D. (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) Anton Nijholt held various positions both inside and outside the Netherlands In 1989 he was appointed full professor at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. At Twente, he initiated the Human Media Interaction group where now he is a guest researcher. For some years he was a scientific advisor of Philips Research Europe. His main research interests are human-computer interaction with a focus on entertainment computing, playable cities, augmented reality (AR), and brain-computer interfacing. Together with many of the Ph.D. students he has supervised, he wrote hundreds of journal and conference papers and acted as program chair and general chair of the main international conferences on affective computing, multimodal interaction, intelligent agents, and entertainment computing. His current main interest is AR and an edited book on playful AR is in preparation. Nijholt is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal “Virtual Worlds,” and series editor of the Springer Book series “Gaming Media and Social Effects”.

Dr. Behzad Dariush

Chief Scientist and Division Director, Honda Research Institute, USA

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Scene Understanding and Interactive Decision Making for Intelligent Mobility

Behzad Dariush received a PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from The Ohio State University with emphasis in robotics, biomechanics, and control system theory. He is currently Chief Scientist and Division Director at Honda Research Institute USA, leading advanced research activities in intelligent systems for Honda’s next generation mobility systems. The primary focus of the team’s research is to advance the state of the art is machine learning, visual scene understanding, human behavior understanding, and interactive decision making to support autonomous systems. His past research activities include humanoid robotics, wearable-technologies, biomechanical simulation of human movement, and human motion analysis and synthesis.

Prof. Jan Peters and Prof. Anton Nijholt will deliver in-person keynotes whilst Dr. Behzad Dariush keynote will be online.