Professor Wilks will discuss the notion of an artificial Companion, a long-term software agent that could be present in any device: a screen, handbag or even a furry toy - and which understands the person it 'lives' with and whose memories and knowledge it comes to acquire and manage through conversation. One can think of a core function of Companion as living with an elderly person, lonely and wanting to revisit their memories and memorabilia, but needing assistance with information and agency.
Yorick Wilks is Visiting Professor of Artificial Intelligence at Gresham College. He is also Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Sheffield, a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, and a Senior Scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. Professor Wilks is especially interested in the fields of artificial intelligence and the computer processing of language, knowledge and belief. His current research focuses on the possibility of software agents having identifiable personalities.