That time of the year has come: we will be attending the Maker Faire 2022 in Rome from Friday 7th until Sunday 9th and we are very glad to open our projects to the public within the Sony exhibition area. Our researchers from Sony CSL Paris and Sony CSL Rome will welcome the public at the Gazometro Ostiense for this 10th edition of the most famous event dedicated to innovation! Let’s go unveil some details now!
During the three days of the event, we will move our research work from our labs to the 6 booths that are hosting us at the Maker Faire and the work we are showing will touch interesting themes like sustainable agriculture, 15-minutes city, social dialogue, language and the fascinating interaction between artificial intelligence and arts intelligence and arts. Please go on through this article to have a sneak peek of what you could find at our exhibition area.
- 15 Minutes City
Scientist Carlos Moreno proposed a new concept to revolutionize urban environments, the 15 Minutes City: individuals should always be able to reach a set of venues they visit the most within a 15-minute travel distance by bicycle or on foot.
To assess whether different cities correspond to this idea, Sony CSL developed the 15 Minutes City platform, which will be shown at Maker Faire, including its latest progress. This tool is freely available online here.
Reading comprehension is a complex cognitive task that can be difficult and frustrating for many children with Learning Disorders. Sony CSL’s language team seeks to solve these difficulties by designing accessible and inclusive language technologies to enable hybrid therapies and educational practices. Collaborating with CRC – Research and Care Center, the team designed and evaluated whether a reading comprehension interface, powered by artificial intelligence, can make the entire process of reading and understanding texts more customizable, multimodal and truly inclusive. Here is the webpage dedicated to the project.
- Art and Science: S+T+ARTS Project
S + T + ARTS is a project funded by the European Commission, promoting the intersection between science, technology, and arts. Its 2021 edition, “Repairing the Present”, asked artists worldwide to imagine a more sustainable, green, and livable cities. Sony CSL and MAXXI museum selected two relevant artists who spent six months in residency in Rome. Olga Kisseleva, an artist from Paris, delved into the topic of the beneficial role of trees in urban areas. Through her installation “Cities live like trees,” she reshaped urban mobility according to the citizen’s awareness of greenery. The second installation, by Susi Gutsche from Vienna, is focused on public awareness of movements of waste. In “Trace Waste,” she mapped the path of the garbage after it has been released in a trash can, both in urban areas of Rome and, more broadly, nation-wide. Sony CSL supported the artists as regards the data and algorithm part. At the same time, MAXXI contributed with its artistic curatorial expertise.
- Face to Face
From a scientific point of view, creativity can be related to the exploration of what we call “the space of possibilities”. This space contains all the possible variations of what we already know, together with new, unexpected ideas whose origin and content are difficult to predict. In general, the exploration of the space of possibilities allows us to find original, pleasant or valid solutions starting from the information or data we already have. Artificial intelligence is an effective tool for extracting the important characteristics of a set of data, allowing us a direct interaction with the space of possibilities. The installation proposes to explore the space of human faces by interacting with AI and starting from a photo of the face.
Foremusic enables you to discover in advance how well a song will be received by the public, according to Spotify and YouTube’s success metrics. Sony CSL developed this AI system to investigate whether success can be predicted using big data from major streaming service platforms, to understand what the drivers of popularity in the music industry are.
At Maker Faire in Rome, KOUZAN, a project in collaboration with CSH Vienna, presents a web application, Kouzan-Expo, which allows an interaction between the visitors and the installations of the fair. Visitors can access the informative material on the installation by scanning its QR code with the app. They can also express their level of appreciation of the installation through stars (1=not interesting, 5=interesting) and add comments. They can browse the chronology of their journey at any moment and get an indication of how predictable their rating activity was.
VALAWAI (short for Value-Aware AI) project is funded by the European Commission, and, in collaboration with other European institutions (CISIC Barcelona, Institut Mar d’Investigacions Mediques, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Ghent University, Studio Stelluti), has developed value-aware AI components based on actual neuroscientific models. The aim is to include moral values in machine decision-making, in a way that makes both the system’s decisions and its reference values are transparent and reinforce human action.
- Robotics for Microfarms (ROMI)
In the framework of the EU funded Project ROMI, the sustainability team at Sony CSL will show the cablebot that was jointly developed by IAAC/Fab Lab Barcelona and Sony CSL. The cablebot’s camera is used to take daily images of the plants and helps predict when they will be ready for harvest and what space will become available for new plantations.
Writing is a complex process. Yet, almost all current text editors seem to be designed as if authors already know exactly what they want to write from the beginning, and they just have to type it down in a linear and straightforward way, completely neglecting the complexity of the creative process. The philosophy of WeWrite is to create an environment where creativity, exploration, recombination, and, more in general, the complexities of the evolution of a text are supported to their wildest extents.
The Infosphere research line at Sony CSL is tackling the challenge of redesigning Information Technologies to make information more accessible and social dialogue more transparent, understandable, and healthy by collaborating with journalists, publishers, national authorities and institutions. Among the various projects presented at Maker Faire, a recent study on the linguistic behavior of Italian politicians on social media platforms: Sony CSL researchers were able to provide a visualization of many of the aspects of political communication which were previously inaccessible, thanks to the analysis of social networks’ big data. Sony CSL will also show the Lab4News project, the research and development initiative dedicated to the world of information, publishing and new media.