The workshop commenced at 9 am with coffee and joulutorttu (Christmas tart). Associate professor Roel Pieters officially opened the workshop at 9:15 am with a welcome presentation. He briefly introduced AI Hub Tampere as a regional project to aid small and medium sized companies with 1.5 hours of free consultation about artificial intelligence. Additionally, he introduced the aim of the workshop and the schedule of the workshop. Afterwards, Professor Kaisa Väänänen introduced KITE (Kaupunkiseudun Ihmiskeskeiset Tekoälyratkaisut) project, which recently has started collaborating with AI Hub Tampere. Kaisa shared that the goal of the project is to acknowledge the human-centred design and ethical considerations of AI. An exercise break by University Lecturer Aino Ahtinen and Nao was followed the presentations.
The session continued after the refreshing exercise break by dividing the attendees into 3 teams. Each team visited 3 demo points to familiarize themselves with the current robotic solutions. There were 6 facilitators at 3 demo points who ran the demo sessions. The participants were also asked few follow up questions by our facilitators as food for thought. The robot demos worked as an ice breaker among the participants before they moved on to the second group task. In the second phase, the participants were asked to consider one robot application they would want to design solutions for. Aino gave an example of her real life experience with her lawn mower, masa the guinea pig. Four groups came up with four exciting and different solutions: shopping assistant robot, autonomous excavator, airport guide robot and garbage collector robot. In the third phase, the participants brainstormed together, considering the demos as inspiration, to define interactions for their robotic solutions.
Each team presented their ideas and concept, which received tremendous appreciation from other teams, facilitators and organizers. The workshop was closed to lunch where the participants and organizers discussed how successful the workshop was and what they learnt from it. Friday the thirteenth isn’t unlucky after all!
Aparajita Chowdhury, PhD student on AI Hub (commonly known as Apa = sister in Bengali )