Project Description

Prof. Dr. Verena Hafner

Prof. Dr. Verena Hafner

Principal Investigator

Short Vita

I am Professor of Adaptive Systems at the Department of Computer Science at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. I am member of the Executive Board of the Cluster of Excellence “Science of Intelligence” and Programme member of the DFG Priority Programme “Active Self” (SPP 2134).

What I find exciting about this research initiative

Social cohesion is a complex concept that is influenced by many different factors. One of these factors are social interactions between individuals and groups of individuals. I am interested in how these interactions take place in real and virtual spaces and shape social cohesion. Our research initiative investigates interaction dynamics and social cohesion from a very multidisciplinary perspective.

What my discipline can contribute to this research initiative

Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence can create computational models and simulations of interactions and thus create a better understanding of the interaction dynamics in humans leading to social cohesion. My own research investigates how artificial agents can create predictive models of themselves and their interaction partners leading to intuitive human-robot interaction.

Five key publications

  • Ciria, A., Schillaci, G., Pezzulo, G., Hafner, V.V. & Lara, B. (2021). Predictive Processing in Cognitive Robotics: a Review. Neural Computation (2021) 33 (5): 1402–1432. doi 10.1162/neco_a_01383

  • Hafner, V.V., Loviken, P., Pico Villalpando, A., Schillaci, G. (2020). Prerequisites for an Artificial Self. Frontiers in Neurorobotics. Vol. 14, p.5. doi 10.3389/fnbot.2020.00005. ISSN 1662-5218

  • Acevedo Valle, J.M., Hafner, V.V., and Angulo, C. (2018). Social Reinforcement in Artificial Prelinguistic Development: A Study Using Intrinsically Motivated Exploration Architectures, IEEE Trans. on Cognitive and Developmental Systems. doi 10.1109/TCDS.2018.2883249

  • Schillaci, G., Hafner, V.V., Lara, B. (2016). Exploration behaviours, body representations and simulation processes for the development of cognition in artificial agents, Frontiers in Robotics and AI, section Humanoid Robotics, 3:39. doi 10.3389/frobt.2016.00039

  • Schillaci G., Bodiroza S. and Hafner V.V. (2013). Evaluating the Effect of Saliency Detection and Attention Manipulation in Human-Robot Interaction, International Journal of Social Robotics. Springer, 5:1. pp. 139-152. doi 10.1007/s12369-012-0174-7