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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R031045/1
Title: Start Making Sense: Cognitive and affective confidence measures for explanation generation using epistemic planning
Principal Investigator: Petrick, Dr R
Other Investigators:
Hill, Dr R L
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: S of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 August 2018 Ends: 30 November 2020 Value (£): 299,839
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Artificial Intelligence
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
31 Oct 2017 Human-like Computing Interviews Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Consider a tourist on a walking tour of a city. After reaching a place where they can see they are almost back to the starting point, their tour guide says "Let's go up that hill", pointing to a large hill. "We can get a good view of the city from there." However, on seeing the tired expression on the tourist's face, the guide adds "Or we can stop in that pub over there and take a break." This scenario has two important features: (1) people like to know what is going on. This is especially true in situations where a decision may not have been anticipated or expected. Here, an explanation may be needed not just to justify the decision but also to establish confidence in that choice-in other words, to trust it; (2) being able to read the situation and adapt to the needs of the moment is important when ranking the possible actions that could be taken. Here, a decision may need to be made dynamically. These two features add up to 'dynamic trust maintenance', and are needed for a broad range of the AI systems that are expected to be deployed in the near future, e.g., automated vehicles, service robots, or interactive voice-based assistants.

This project addresses the need for dynamic trust maintenance (which is not generally available in interactive and autonomous systems) by bringing together experimental research in cognitive science involving cooperative joint action with the practical construction of AI planning tools to apply to the task of explanation generation. This challenge will be addressed through these concrete objectives: (1) to study cooperative joint action in humans to identify the emotional, affective, or cognitive factors that are essential for successful human communicative goals, (2) to enhance epistemic planning techniques with heuristics derived from the cognitive science studies, and (3) to deploy the resulting system to generate human-like explanations and evaluate the effectiveness of the resulting approach with human participants.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.hw.ac.uk