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Social Human-Agent Interaction Group visit to University of Glasgow

In November 2019, the sHAI group acquired funding via the Radboud-Glasgow Collaboration Fund(verwijst naar een andere website) to visit the human-agent interaction groups at the University of Glasgow, headed by Emily Cross, Stacy Marsella, and Stephen Brewster. By taking advantage of the variety of travel funds available, not only staff members, but also PhD, Masters, and Bachelor students were able to join the trip, resulting in 11 members representing the sHAI group in Scotland.

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the human-agent interaction groups in both Glasgow and Nijmegen, we planned a week-long visit to ensure enough time for everyone to get their fill. The week started off with a day of talks, during which members from both groups presented their key works: This was a mixture of an overview of research lines, project proposals, fresh results, or introductory talks about new technology. The aim was to allow each member to present their work in such a way as to attract interested parties, an aim that was definitely fulfilled. The rest of the week was filled with one-on-one meetings. The biggest goal was to get collaboration projects going, but along with these connections, we also shared code, analysis techniques, and resources. Although both groups study human-agent interaction, we noticed that the Glasgow group was focused on pure science discovery, whereas the sHAI group at the Radboud University focusses more on a mix between research and its potential application to society. This made the trip very constructive, as there was a lot we were able to learn from each other.

This was the first outing the sHAI group organised since its inception in late 2018. The initial aim was to meet the group in Glasgow, for those who hadn’t yet, but in the end it turned into a bonding experience for the sHAI group itself. The Glasgow trip has been an inspiration to continue to organise events like this in the future, with tentative brainstorms about summer schools and other trips around the world.


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