Kristinn R. Thórisson - Resume

Education

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Ph.D. Media Laboratory
1996


Dissertation Title: Communicative Humanoids: A Computational Model of Psycho-Social Dialogue Skills

Presents a computational model of psychosocial dialogue expertise, bridging between perceptual analysis of multimodal events and multimodal action generation, supporting the creation of interfaces that afford full-duplex, real-time face-to-face interaction between a human and autonomous computer characters. Integrates two schools of thought, “classical” and behavior-based A.I., in a unified architectural framework. Prototype demonstrates several new ideas in the creation of communicative intelligence, including perceptual integration of multimodal events, distributed processing and decision making, layered input analysis and motor control, and the integration of reactive and reflective perception and action.


Experience

Reykjavik University
Reykjavik
Associate Professor
2005-Present
Assistant Professor
2004-2005

Co-Founder, co-director: CADIA, the first A.I. laboratory in Iceland
Co-Founder: MINDMAKERS.ORG, organization dedicated to increased collaboration and code-sharing in A.I.

Presently I'm conducting research on interactive, intelligent systems that have a sense of their own being and environment. I call them "sentient systems". The systems typically are capable of natural language and can interact in real-time with real human beings. The goal of this work is to increase machines autonomy to a level that prepares them for becoming participants in the fabric of society.


Radar Networks, Inc.
New York, NY
CTO, Co-founder
2003-2004
Brought a powerful semantic Web infrastructure and platform to maturity. Led development teambuilding software products based on platform. Designed several new kinds of e-commerce, knowledge management,community, and collaboration products built on the platform. Authored four patents. Hired and managed consultants. Developed execution- and launch strategies. Developed business model, marketing- and product strategies. Identified andpitched to potential investors; arranged meetings with venture capital firms in New York and San Francisco. Company chosen in 2003 by Reuters Venture Capital Fund as one of 10 most interesting new technology startups in the U.S.A.

Columbia University
School of Engineering & Applied Sciences
Department of Computer Science, New York City
Adjunct Professor
2003-2004
Taught own graduate-level course “Embodied Agents in Augmented and Virtual Environments”, an interdisciplinary course focusing on the integration and architectural challenge of designing intelligent, embodied agents that can interact and communicate with humans in real situations. Weaves together aspects from cognitive science, psychology and artificial intelligence. Course counts as a Ph.D. breadth elective in the advanced A.I. area in Dept. of CS. Quality of course rated by students to be 1.5 standard deviations above average for the department.

Soliloquy, Inc.
New York, NY
VP, Engineering
1999-2001
Directed the development of interactive B2B and B2C products for the Internet, providing improved shopping experience for consumers of electronics, using natural language processing and extensive data mining analysis. Managed a multidisciplinary team of over 20 people in technology and product development. Architected the core software, products, language understanding and generation technologies; direct/design the products' graphical inter-faces and interactive functionalities. Organized interaction with technology partners and participated in company planning and strategy. Products deployed for Buy.com, ShopAcer.com, and CNET, contracts signed with HP and AOL.

British Telecom
Ipswich, U.K.

Consultant
1999
Sole consultant to British Telecom's Head of Research, Richard Nichol, to help restructure BT's 700-person research organization, focusing on strategy for third and fourth generation communication infrastruc-tures and personalized digital services for the next decade.

Interactive Institute
Stockholm, Sweden

Senior Consultant
1998-1999
Assisted in the establishment of a 10 person development team in the Experience Studio. Helped define the team’s vision, focusing on interactive systems, virtual worlds and installation. Defined 3-D graphics and 3-D audio development tasks, identified collaborators and selected initial projects. Proposed interactive experience installations, including Culture Walls — three interactive audio sculptures, transmitting sounds from one culture to another, directed by a knowledge-based artificial intelligence system with a reactive component for steering real-time audio modulation of recorded sounds.

LEGO A/S
Billund, Denmark

Chief Wizard, Senior Research Scientist
1996-1999
Directed a group of developers and participated in the implementation of a virtualLEGO world running on a supercomputer. Specified and assigned programming and other tasks, determined equipment purchases, developed concepts and designed software architectures. Programmed artificial intelligence and networking softwarefor controlling spatial audio, sound synthesis and graphics software running on a distributed processing cluster of computers,including a graphics supercomputer. Helped establish the Wizard Group — a team of researchers working on the development of a system for producing animations in real-time. Prototype demonstrated at SIGGRAPH 1997. Created concepts andprototypes for LEGOLAND Parks. Arranged and coordinated collaboration with Fuji-Xerox Palo Alto Research Labs, AalborgUniversity, Bielefeld University, Lake Audio, and the M.I.T. Media Laboratory. Initiated and Digital Toys: The Role of Speech & Audio”, a two-day international LEGO-sponsored workshop.

M.I.T. Media Lab
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Research Assistant
1990-1996
Developed humanoid faces with synthesized speech, gaze, hand-gestures and emotional expressions. Designed and programmed software systems running in parallel on eight workstations over a fiber-optic network, delivering a real-time, fault-tolerant interactive system for high-level human-computer interaction. Devised algorithms to calculate in real-time where a person is looking, using a system of magnetic trackers and camera-based image analysis. Built one of the world’s first real-time prosody analyzer using own algorithms. Developed agent-oriented interfaces based on behavior-based and classical artificial intelligence; architected and implemented multimodal systems for semantic interpretation of eye-tracking, speech, intonation and gesture recognition in real-time, and providing real-time feedback via 3-D graphics. Analyzed over 200 human-subject research papers for the foundation of a computational architecture that simulates an individual’s behavior during communicative, goal-oriented dialogue to use in development of computational models. Managed 1-3 undergraduate assistants per term. Selected work: http://xenia.media.mit.edu/~kris

NASA
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

Research Assistant
1989
Served on the Robot Workstation Committee. Evaluated contractor designs of proposed telerobot workstations for U.S. Space Shuttle. Designed and conducted experiments with a force-feedback, superhuman-sized 7-DoF telerobotic arm; performed statistical analysis of results. Assisted in the construction of a life-size mock-up of the aft flight deck of the U.S. Space Shuttle.

 

Conference Chairs & Review Panels

2006

; Workshop Co-Chair

AAAI-05 Workshop on Modular Construction of Human-Like Intelligence, Pittsburgh, PA; Workshop Chair

AAAI-05 Workshop on Integrating Perception & Action in Multimodal Interfaces, Pittsburgh, PA; Workshop Organizing Committee

IJCAI, Modeling Natural Action Selection, an International & Interdisciplinary Workshop, Edinburgh, Scotland; Program Committee

Synthetic Agents, from Body to Mind: Making Graphics & AI Work Together; Advisory Committee


2005

Workshop on Representation Languages for Communicative Action, Reykjavik U., Reykjavik; Workshop Co-Chair

AAAI-05 Workshop on Modular Construction of Human-Like Intelligence, Pittsburgh, PA; Workshop Chair

AAAI-05 Workshop on Integrating Perception & Action in Multimodal Interfaces, Pittsburgh, PA; Workshop Organizing Committee

IJCAI, Modeling Natural Action Selection, an International & Interdisciplinary Workshop, Edinburgh, Scotland; Program Committee

Synthetic Agents, from Body to Mind: Making Graphics & AI Work Together; Advisory Committee

 


Last updated 04.03.2007