Photo by Tony RinaldoPhoto by Tony Rinaldo
Gal A.Kaminka
2011–2012
Evelyn Green Davis Fellow
Bar Ilan University (Israel)
Computer Science
Curing Robot Autism

Gal A. Kaminka is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and the Leslie and Susan Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center at Bar Ilan University in Israel. He also leads the MAVERICK research group there. His research focuses on social intelligence, specifically the transition from a single mind to many. Such understanding can lead to building robots and virtual humans that are able to collaborate, coordinate, manipulate, and reason. His recent work has focused on techniques for plan recognition (allowing robots to understand others by observing their behavior), for general teamwork in robots, and for simulating human crowds.

At Radcliffe, Kaminka will lay out a battle plan for ridding the world of “autistic” robots. Almost all robots are autistic: they generally do not behave correctly in social settings, whether with humans or with other robots. Most researchers treat this behaviorally, by superficially—and with great effort—tacking task-specific social behavior onto functioning individual robots. Kaminka believes that we must create socially capable robots by building general social intelligence into them. He will draw from computer science, neuroscience, psychology, and cognitive science.

Kaminka received his PhD from the University of Southern California and was a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University. He has won an IBM Faculty Award, placed in international robotics competitions, and served as the chair or cochair of international conferences. He is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, and the RoboCup Federation.

This information is accurate as of the fellowship year indicated for each fellow.
Photo by Tony Rinaldo