CFP: Cognitive Assistance in Public Sector – AAAI Fall Nov 9-11, DC

Cognitive Assistance in Government and Public Sector Applications

November 9-11, 2017 Washington, DC

Cognitive Assistance is an important focus area for AI. While it has several facets and still lacks a precise definition (one of the reasons for this Symposium!), it has been called Augmented Intelligence, the automation of knowledge work, intelligence amplification, cognitive prostheses, and cognitive analytics in the past. It is generally agreed1 that even while fully automated AI is still being developed, there are many aspects in which people can (and do already) benefit from automated support, when it is appropriate and intelligently provided.

This symposium solicits innovative contributions to the research, development, and application of Cognitive Assistance technology for use in Government (executive agencies, legislative, and judicial branches), education, and healthcare. These areas differ considerably, but they all share characteristics that make them prime candidate application areas for Cognitive Assistance: complex knowledge interdependencies that take years to master, the situation where human experts provide support to less-informed clients with urgent needs, legal and social requirements for accurate and timely help.

This year we will expand the dialog between the user, academic, and industry communities to discuss the following topics:

  • Public Sector problems where cognitive assistance may be desirable due to the potential for human-machine synergy, and where the human-machine team may be uniquely suited to the problem space. Identify how human and machine complement one another and how this co- dependency will evolve over time.
  • Reports from the field on the adoption of cognitive assistance, including best practices, lessons learned, costs/benefits, productivity results, barriers to adoption and issues that require further study.
  • Policies, regulations, and practices necessary to accelerate the opportunities and mitigate the risks of cognitive assistance
  • Skills and education necessary to obtain benefits from cognitive assistance and mitigate the impacts on displaced workers
  • Fairness, safety, dependability, ethics, transparency, trust, risk management and other cross- cutting issues around the use of cognitive assistance in the public sector
  • Standards and open source technologies for cognitive assistance

    1 It’s been noted that, “Humans will likely be needed to actively engage with AI technologies throughout the process of completing tasks [“Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy”, Executive Office of the President, December 2016].

  • Implications of cognitive assistance for all facets of government (e.g., economy, security, demographics)
  • Highlight advancements and results that have occurred since FSS-16.

    We solicit ideas for and participation in panel discussions among public sector representatives to articulate their needs for and concerns about the use of cognitive assistance in their domains. We hope to also have panels with users and technologists exploring common problems faced by users, the opportunities for the cognitive assistant to assist, what information is available, and what would be measures of success for a solution.

    We also invite students and researchers to propose demonstrations of state-of-the-art approaches to cognitive assistance technology and ideas relevant to the public sector.

    Submission instructions:

    The symposium will include presentations of accepted papers in both oral and panel discussion formats. Potential symposium participants are invited to submit either a full-length technical paper or a short position paper for discussion. Full-length papers must be no longer than eight (8) pages, including references and figures. Short submissions can be up to four (4) pages in length and describe speculative work, work in progress, system demonstrations, or panel discussions.

    Please submit directly to with FSS-17 in the subject line. Please submit by July 21.

    Organizing Committee: Frank Stein, IBM (Chair)

    Lashon Booker, MITRE Chris Codella, IBM Eduard Hovy, CMU Chuck Howell, MITRE Anupam Joshi, UMBC Andrew Lacher, MITRE

    Jim Spohrer, IBM John Tyler, IBM

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