Keynote Speakers

Prof. Jehee Lee, Seoul National University

Principles vs Observations: How do people and animals move?

The animation and simulation of human/animal behavior is an important issue in the context of computer animation, games, robotics, and virtual environments. The study on human movements and animal locomotion has revealed various principles based on physics, biomechanics, physiology, and psychology.  Many of existing animation techniques rely on those principles, which may be described as mathematical equations, algorithms, or procedures. Another stream of research, called data-driven animation, made use of human motion data captured from live actors. The research on data-driven animation has developed a variety of techniques to edit, manipulate, segment and splice motion capture clips. Those techniques are eventually used to synthesize the motion of multiple interacting characters in complex virtual environments. The current trend of animation research is to combine these two approaches to complement each other. Over the past few years, we have explored several methods that addressed the problem of simulating human/animal behaviors in virtual environments.  Each solution relies on different principles of human movements and motion data captured at different scales. We found that principles and observed data can interact with each other to solve challenging control problems. In this talk, we will discuss the design of physically based controllers that simulate the locomotion of a muscle-actuated biped and the flapping flight of a bird with deformable feathers.

Bio: Jehee Lee is a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Seoul National University. His research interests are in the areas of computer graphics, animation, biomechanics, and robotics. He is particularly interested in developing new ways of understanding, representing, planning, and simulating human and animal movements. This involves full-body motion analysis and synthesis, biped control and simulation, clinical gait analysis, motion capture, motion planning, data-driven and physically based techniques, interactive avatar control, crowd simulation, and controller design. He co-chaired ACM/EG Symposium on Computer Animation in 2012 and served on numerous program committees, including ACM SIGGRAPH, ACM SIGGRAPH Asia, ACM/EG Symposium on Computer Animation, Pacific Graphics, CGI, and CASA. He is currently an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. He is leading the SNU Movement Research Lab.

Prof. Jonathan Gratch, University of Southern California

How to win friends and influence people with computer animated agents

Affective Computing is the field of research directed at creating technology that recognizes, interprets, simulates and stimulates human emotion. One focus of this field is the creation of computer-animated social agents that interact with and emotionally connect to human users. In this talk, I will discuss several projects involving such agents. In the realm of health care, I will discuss an empathetic agent that conducts mental health interviews with patients to assess their risk of depression. Research illustrates that people disclose more information to this agent than other methods for assessing mental health. In the realm of business I will discuss emotionally intelligent agents that can reason about and shape human emotion to maximize economic returns. Finally, I will place this research in a broader context and discuss the practical and ethical implications of such technology for people, organizations and society.

Bio: Jonathan Gratch is Director for Virtual Human Research at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Institute for Creative Technologies, a Research Full Professor of Computer Science and Psychology at USC and co-director of USC’s Computational Emotion Group. He completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Illinois in Urban-Champaign in 1995. Dr. Gratch’s research focuses on computational models of human cognitive and social processes, especially emotion, and explores these models’ role in shaping human-computer interactions in virtual environments. He studies the relationship between cognition and emotion, the cognitive processes underlying emotional responses, and the influence of emotion on decision making and physical behavior. He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of IEEE’s Transactions on Affective Computing (3.5 impact factor in 2013), Associate Editor of Emotion Review and the Journal of Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, and former President of the Association for the Advancement of Affective Computing (AAAC). He is a AAAI Fellow, a SIGART Autonomous Agent’s Award recipient, a Senior Member of IEEE, and member of the International Society for Research on Emotion (ISRE). Dr. Gratch is the author of over 200 technical articles.