Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Final ESSENCE Conference

The Final ESSENCE Conference, titled "International Conference on Computational Approaches to Diversity in Interaction and Meaning" took place in San Servolo, Venice, from 7th to 9th October 2017. The conference was a massive success, bringing together many European researchers from the multiagent systems, semantic web, knowledge representation, and natural language processing communities. Apart from the great invited talks and presentations by ESSENCE members, the conference was used to plan a host of future activities for people interested in diversity-aware AI.





The Fifth ESSENCE Workshop

The Fifth ESSENCE Workshop held in Madrid, Spain (20-21 February, 2017) focused on individual progress, collaborations, integration, and anticipated final outcomes. All Fellows presented their research, while senior partners presented updates on project-wide activities.  All participants took advantage of collaboration meetings and cross-institutional project planning.  On 22nd February senior staff had a Supervisory Board Meeting, while the Fellows had a full day of training on commercialization and proposal writing.

WK5 Madrid 4WK5 Madrid 3WK5 Madrid 2


We were delighted to have out 4th international ESSENCE Workshop (29th August, 2016) on Diversity-Aware Artificial Intelligence accepted to the ECAI 2016 conference in The Hague, The Netherlands. Being part of such a prestigious and international conference was an amazing opportunity to showcase our work and network with the Artificial Intelligence community.

The workshop explored diversity as a phenomenon that both poses a challenge for AI in terms of dealing with and managing diversity in an intelligent system (or ecosystem of intelligent human and/or artificial agents) and presents an opportunity in terms of leveraging diversity (for example through processes like crowdsourcing and collaborative knowledge production) to achieve human-like (and human-friendly) capabilities in more open-ended, incrementally evolving, and interactive AI systems.

logoECAI2016The Hague


We just finished our 3rd ESSENCE Workshop, in Barcelona Spain (20-22 May, 2015). This workshop was open to external participants, who were invited to submit a conference paper to the workshop. All participants presented their conference papers and received feedback from the senior panel members and Thomas Brochhagen was awarded a best paper award. The ESSENCE Fellows also received further one-on-one training on academic writing.

Barcelona 3Barcelona 2



We just finished the week long 2nd ESSENCE Summer School on Evolving Semantic Systems (24-28th August, 2015) in Edinburgh, Scotland.  The participants were treated with parallel sessions, where they could choose exceptional talks from leaders in the field, or try something completely new; from the Evolutionary Semantics to The Geometry of Meaning! We opened the doors of the Informatics Forum to the public with a distinguished lecture by Dr Benjamin Kuipers

The participants were also treated to a historic walk around the medieval city, followed by a traditional Scottish supper with live jazz band.


Second ESSENCE Workshop—Ad Hoc Approaches to ESSENCE Problems

The second ESSENCE Workshop was held together with the First ESSENCE Autumn School on the volcanic island of Ischia, in the Gulf of Naples, Italy. The first ESSENCE cohort gave short poster presentation on the first day followed by group discussion. During the second day, the second ESSENCE cohort presented their research projects and received feedback and networking opportunities.

The Fellows also had in-depth training on “Planning a PhD” by Dr. Sara Shinton.

Ischia 1Ischia 2



First ESSENCE Workshop: Exploring the ESSENCE space

The First ESSENCE Workshop on Exploring the ESSENCE space was held this week (28th-30th April, 2014) at the historic Surgeons’ Hall in Edinburgh, Scotland. The event was kicked off with a team building weekend at Firbush, in the Scottish Highlands followed by the Workshop. Senior staff members introduced their area of expertise and the new Fellows gave short presentation on their academic background and research interests. The event concluded with a public lecture by Prof Alan Bundy on the topic of "Can Computers Change their Minds?" at the University of Edinburgh.

Surgeons Hall pic 2Surgeons Hall pic 1

Recent and upcoming activities

Recent publications:

  • Chocrón, P. & Gromann D. (2017). Towards Building Ontologies from Crowdsourced Data. Proceedings of the AISB Annual Convention 2017, p. 232-242.
  • Gromann, D. & Hedblom, M.M. (2017). Kinesthetic Mind Reader: A Method to Identify Schemas in Natural Language. Proceedings of the Fifth Annual Conference of Advances in Cognitive Systems (ACS).
  • Brochhagen, Thomas. Signaling under uncertainty: Interpretative alignment without a common prior. To appear in British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
  • Brochhagen, Thomas & Michael Franke. Effects of transmission perturbation in the cultural evolution of language. To appear in Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2017).