AI as an extension of human intelligence:
An approach to make systems a little smarter, more reliable, and more sensible to humans.

Iberamia 2022 Career Recognition Award talk


Prof. Paulo Novais

Department of Informatics
School of Engineering. University of Minho, Portugal

This talk will use two famous quotes as a starting point: “Computing is no longer about computers. It’s about living» by Nicholas Negroponte and «Our intelligence is what makes us human, and AI is an extension of that quality» by Yann LeCun which has guided my research in recent years. Respectively, one reflects that the importance that AI has today goes far beyond the limits of the application of «simple» technology and, the other, uncovers the need to humanize its application and use.

The challenges ahead are enormous and involve the development of systems that are necessarily smarter but meet reliability requirements and are fundamentally responsive and sensitive to human presence, with the strictest respect for the values and dignity of humanity.

I’m going to present some of the projects I’ve been involved in that are a step in that direction. We have in our hands the power to reshape the world and we need to do it well.

Short Bio: Paulo Novais is a Full Professor of Computer Science at the Department of Informatics, the School of Engineering, the University of Minho (Portugal), and a researcher at the ALGORITMI Centre in which he is the leader of the research group ISLab – Synthetic Intelligence lab. He is the director of the Ph.D. Program in Informatics and co-founder and Deputy Director of the Master in Law and Informatics at the University of Minho.

He started his career developing scientific research in the field of Intelligent Systems/Artificial Intelligence (AI), namely in Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, Machine Learning, and Multi-Agent Systems. His interest, in the last years, was absorbed by the different, yet closely related, concepts of Ambient Intelligence/Ambient Assisted Living, Decision, Conflict Resolution, Behavioural Analysis, Intelligent Tutors, and the incorporation of AI methods and techniques in these fields.

His main research goal is to make systems a little smarter, more reliable, and more sensitive to humans. He is the coordinator of the Portuguese Intelligent Systems Associate Laboratory (LASI). President of General Assembly and former president of the Portuguese Association for Artificial Intelligence) between 2016 and 2019, Senior member of the IEEE, Member of the IFIP – TC 12 Artificial Intelligence, and of the executive committee of the IBERAMIA. He has served as an expert in several institutions such as the EU Commission and FCT (the Portuguese agency that supports science, technology and innovation).

Artificial intelligence for (climate) good




Dr. Nayat Sánchez-Pi

Director of the Inria Research Center in Chile
CEO of Inria Chile Foundation

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a dual role with respect to climate change. On one hand, AI holds great promise to understand, mitigate, and adapt to climate change. However, on the other hand, it has been neglected by researchers and industry the ecological impact of AI itself. In this talk, I will describe the complexity of this duality. I will dive into the cohort approach, where our multi-disciplinary teams collaborate to bring the best of different scientific areas. I will do this by going over some interrelated projects. First, I will be presenting our OcéanIA project focused on developing new AI, machine learning, and mathematical modeling tools to contribute to the understanding of the structure, functioning, underlying mechanisms and dynamics of the global ocean symbiome and its relationship with climate change. After that, I will show our EMISTRAL project where we design and evaluate self-learning controllers for autonomous environmental monitoring sailboats relying on reinforcement learning, transfer learning and autonomous learning for sampling the Ocean. And finally how we approach the other side of this dichotomy by looking inside AI as a way to make it more ecologically viable in our project GreenAI.

Short Bio: Nayat Sánchez-Pi, is the Director of the Inria Research Center in Chile, the French National Institute for Digital Sciences and Technologies and CEO of the Inria Chile Foundation, where she leads the Communication and Information Research and Innovation Center of Excellence. Before joining Inria, Nayat was a professor of Artificial Intelligence and Human-Computer Interaction at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, founding and co-leading the Research Group on Artificial Intelligence and Optimization (RIO Group). She has developed her scientific career mainly between Spain, Brazil, France, and more recently in Chile.

She holds a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence from the Carlos III University of Madrid, for which she received an Extraordinary Doctorate Award. Nayat’s research interests range from artificial intelligence, machine learning, the internet of things, ambient intelligence, and human-computer interaction. Her scientific career is characterized by extensive international experience and a focus on applied research and innovation. She has several publications in high-impact conferences and journals and has been distinguished with several awards.

She also has extensive experience leading interdisciplinary R&D teams with industrial and academic partners focused on solving real-world challenging problems generating high social, economic, ecological, and technological impact.