Tony Belpaeme



Tony Belpaeme is Professor at Ghent University and Visiting Professor in Robotics and Cognitive Systems at the University of Plymouth, UK. He received his PhD in Computer Science from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and currently leads a team studying cognitive robotics and human-robot interaction. Starting from the premise that intelligence is rooted in social interaction, Belpaeme and his research team try to further the science and technology behind artificial intelligence and social human-robot interaction. This results in a spectrum of results, from theoretical insights to practical applications.

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Artificial Intelligence has never been more popular, with almost every discipline and industry now either contributing to AI or benefiting from AI. But despite the uproar around new developments, the dream of recreating human-like intelligence still seems tormentingly beyond our grasp. AI has focused mostly on data mining, regressing and classifying its way through connected data lakes, but without bringing us closer to the vision that lured many of us into working on robotics and AI. This talk will try and argue that Human-Robot Interaction might be the catalyst that is needed to bring renewed focus to AI’s holy grail, and will argue that social interaction between machines and people might well be the goal that could galvanise AI research for decades to come.

Paper covered during the talk

  • Bartneck, C., Belpaeme, T., Eyssel, F., Kanda, T., Keijsers, M., & Šabanović, S. (2020). Human-robot interaction: An introduction. Cambridge University Press.