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Vanessa Evers
Director NISTH
NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity (NISTH)

Vanessa Evers is a full Professor of Social Artificial Intelligence at the school of Computer Science and Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. She is also a full professor of Human Media Interaction at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.

Vanessa Evers currently is Director of NTU’s Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity with the goal to lead multiple research centres and programs in the responsible and cohesive development of innovative technologies and cross-disciplinary research for the benefit of people.

Her research focuses on how people interact with autonomous systems such as robots or agents and cultural aspects of Human Computer Interaction. She is best known for her work in social robotics developing robots that can interpret human social behaviours and engage with people in an ongoing interaction in a way that fits the social context in which they are used, be that at a hospital, school, museum, public spaces, factories or office buildings.

She received a M.SC. in Information Systems from the University of Amsterdam, and a Ph. D. from the Open University, UK. During her Master studies she spent two years at the Institute of Management Information Studies of the University of New South Wales, Sydney. After her Ph.D. she has worked for the Boston Consulting Group, London and later became an assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam’s Institute of Informatics. She was a visiting researcher at Stanford University and has published over 150 peer reviewed publications, many of which in high quality journals and conferences in human computer interaction and human robot interaction.

Research Statement

My research focuses on how people interact with autonomous systems such as robots or agents and cultural aspects of Human Computer Interaction. She is best known for her work in social robotics developing robots that can interpret human social behaviours and engage with people in an ongoing interaction in a way that fits the social context in which they are used, be that at a hospital, school, museum, public spaces, factories or office buildings.

I am interested to join research projects that concern complex collaboration between people and intelligent or autonomous agents, social aspects of human robot interaction, cobots, the design of the interaction between people and machines or systems in various application areas.

Research One-liner

I build robots that help people, to improve their lives, health and work

Publications

V. Evers, H. Maldonado, T. Brodecki and P. Hinds, “Relational vs. group self-construal: Untangling the role of national culture in HRI,” 2008 3rd ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), Amsterdam, 2008, pp. 255-262.

why: It was a paper on a cross-cultural study of human robot team-work in collaboration with Stanford (Hinds) and Tsinghua University (Rau)

Cramer, H., Evers, V., Ramlal, S. et al. The effects of transparency on trust in and acceptance of a content-based art recommender. User Model User-Adap Inter 18, 455 (2008).

Why: This paper won the James Chen Best Paper award

David Goedicke, Jamy Li, Vanessa Evers, and Wendy Ju. 2018. VR-OOM: Virtual Reality On-rOad driving siMulation. In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems(CHI ’18). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Paper 165, 1–11.

Why: I am happy to get published at CHI and it is a really cool research project into a VR system to evaluate driverless cars’ autonomous behaviour

Bland, P.A., Souza Filho, C.R., Jull, A.J.T., Kelley, S.P., Hough, R.M., Artemieva, N.A., Pierazzo, E., Coniglio, J., Pinotti, L. Evers, V. Rio Quarto: a newly discovered tektite strewn field in a paraboloid dune region. Science 2002 May 10; 296: 1109-1111.

Why: It is the only Science paper that I contributed to….by finding a meteorite!

Latest Projects

Ibotics AVATAR, xprize Utwente 400K; Avatar Xprize team from University of Twente, TNO, Halodi, ETH Zurich. video

Kids conversing with a media robot, SIDN and NL Institute for Sound and Vision 2019-2021 500K (PI). Kids conversing with a media robot investigates how we can design child-robot interaction in a responsible manner: not only informative in a way that children understand and like, but also with attention to transparency, privacy and awareness about the use of artificial intelligence

DE-ENIGMA EU H2020 (RIA), Socially Assistive Robot for Children with ASD, 2016-2020, 3.6M€ (Coordinator).

The project has built a robot that interacts with children with autism and helps them learn about showing emotions. Autism affects children in many ways, particularly their communication and interaction skills: they can have difficulties recognising and understanding people’s behaviours and expressing their own emotions. Conventionally, foundational skills like emotion recognition are taught face-to-face with an adult. The EU-funded project DE-ENIGMA developed a less socially demanding and more entertaining option that uses artificial intelligence.

Advice to young researchers

A change is as good as a rest!

Other affiliation(s)

Full Professor, School of Computer Science and Engineering, College of Engineering

Courtesy appointment, School of Social Sciences, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Full Professor Human Media Interaction, University of Twente, The Netherlands

Expert Areas
Human robot interaction, Social Artificial Intelligence, Social Robotics

Research Interests
Social and Cultural aspects of Human Computer Interaction

Research Category
Arts & Humanities, Engineering & Technology, Social Sciences
Research Sub-category
Arts, Design and Media, Computer Science and Engineering, Info-Communication Technology, Interactive Digital Media, Internet & Communications, Machines & Systems, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Security Studies & Policy Issues, Sociology, Systems and Engineering Management
NISTH Assigned Topic Groupings
Circular economy & waste reduction, Responsible AI/Tech, Smart cities, smart nation & future living, Tele-health, medicine, rehab & therapeutics
Affiliated Sustainable Development Goals
GOAL 3: GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING – Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development.
GOAL 9: INDUSTRY, INNOVATION, AND INFRASTRUCTURE – Investments in infrastructure are crucial to achieving sustainable development.
GOAL 11: SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES – There needs to be a future in which cities provide opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
Last Updated
08 Apr 2020
Last Updated
13 Sep 2020