Planning and scheduling (P&S) is a core area of AI. Its aim is to build systems that assist humans in planning, organising and optimising courses of action to achieve complex objectives. Despite the pressing need for decision-support systems for P&S applications in industry and public services, current approaches do not satisfy essential properties of trustworthy AI, such as transparency, explainability, robustness, safety and scalability. TUPLES is a 3 year project aiming to obtain scalable, yet transparent, robust and safe algorithmic solutions for P&S. The cornerstones of our scientific contributions will be (1) combining symbolic P&S methods with data-driven methods to benefit from the scalability and modelling power of the latter, while gaining the transparency, robustness, and safety of the former and (2) developing rigorous explanations and verification approaches for ensuring the transparency, robustness, and safety of a sequence of interacting machine learned decisions. Both of these challenges are at the forefront of AI research. We will demonstrate and evaluate our novel and rigorous methods in a laboratory environment, on a range of use-cases in manufacturing, aircraft operations, sport management, waste collection, and energy management. Our results also include practical guidelines derived from the lessons learnt in this process, and open-source software tools and test environments enabling the human-centered development and assessment of trustworthy P&S systems. Expected outcomes include increased productivity, decreased environmental footprint and the empowerment of workers in the above sectors. These could translate into huge economic, environmental and social impacts if trustworthiness ends up driving mass adoption of P&S. The TUPLES consortium includes world-leading researchers in several fields of AI (P&S, constraints, machine learning, explanations), humanities and social sciences (psychology, law, ethics), and experts of their applications.
The FREETOACT project involves 16 experienced partners and is the legacy of 16 years of a collective participation to the ERN as a Consortium. We will organize events in 16 different French cities, sharing the same objectives and approach to science engagement, and most of the activities, and involving local researchers. FREETOACT is based on two connected themes. In 2022, the public will discuss the functioning of research through an attractive theme, “The unexpected”, which will bring surprises to the visitors, while discussing predictability in research. In the process, in 2023, researchers and the public will debate together around the theme "Our futures". These themes foster the quality of the discussion with researchers (a key factor in enriching the public's vision of science in society), and renew ERN proposition for the public and the press. During the events, we will create warm and aesthetic encounters and design playful activities to be shared by researchers and the public. The 2,800 researchers involved in the project will be coached and trained by mediators. All the local organizers have extensive experience in conducting researcher-public meetings. Thus, “Researchers at school” activities will be organized thanks to our existing networks. Adults will also be able to participate through a new edition of the Great Participatory Experiment in 2023 (a research team will propose participatory research for the ERN in 16 cities). Online activities will be proposed to interact with the public located outside our 16 cities. The French Ministry of Culture will financially support the event for the 5th year, fostering the participation of researchers in humanities and social sciences; the Ministry of Research will also maintain its support. The ERN will take on the responsibility of improving the understanding of how research actually works and will get young people, the public and researchers to question the role of research in shaping our (un)expected futures
We live in a crucial historical moment, with tremendous challenges ahead, from climate change to the energy crisis. ELIAS emerges from the belief that AI will be a key discipline to help us tackle these challenges. At the same time, the development of AI entails deep ethical and societal concerns that need to be addressed. As for fundamental research, ELIAS will address key scientific questions about how AI can reduce computational costs, serves to model effects of policy decisions on society, and impacts individuals. ELIAS will strive for a deep integration of the fundamental research that takes place in academia and the more applications-focused research from industry. ELIAS builds on and expands the highly successful and internationally recognized European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS). ELIAS will further develop the excellence criteria and the pillars in ELLIS and implement actions that will support AI researchers and young talents at different stages of their careers. Furthermore, ELIAS will develop a Sciencentrepreneurship track, with the purpose of attracting and empowering talents at the interface of scientific innovation and business and establish original AI solutions that move towards a sustainable long-term future for our planet, contribute to a cohesive society, and respect individual rights. The outcome of ELIAS will be to establish Europe as a leader in AI research in which impact on the environment, society and the individual are integral considerations during development. We will measure the success of this endeavor in terms of key indicators, including the number of new cross-institutional collaborations, the number of cross-disciplinary collaborations, the number of industry-academic partnerships, publications in top conferences and journals, patents, and the number of projects that have resulted in deployed technologies.