Professor David Powers

Professor

College of Science and Engineering

place Tonsley (2.10)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Prof. David M W Powers is Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Centre for Knowledge and Interaction Technology and has research interests in the area of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science. His specific research framework takes Language, Logic and Learning as the cornerstones for a broad Cognitive Science perspective on Artificial Intelligence and its practical applications. Prof. Powers is known as a pioneer in the area of Parallel Logic Programming, Natural Language Learning, Unsupervised Learning and Evaluation of Learning, and as Founding President of ACL SIGNLL initiated SIGNLL's CoNLL conference. His CV includes positions at Telecom Paris, University of Tilburg, University of Kaiserslautern, Macquarie University, as well as work with industry, and commercialization of research through several start up companies. Prof. Powers is also a Visiting Professor at the Beijing University of Technology, and serves on several program committees and editorial boards, being Editor-in-Chief of the Springer book series Cognitive Science and Technology and the journal Computational Cognitive Science.

Qualifications
2010 C.TESOL (ITAA), Lingua Edge (Teaching English as a Second or Other Language)
2001 Dip.TA (ATAA), Securities Institute Australia (Technical Analysis)
1989 PhD, University of New South Wales (Computational Psycholinguistics)
1984 ThC, Moore Theological College
1982 Certificate in Linguistics, SIL
1979 B.Sc.(Hons), University of Sydney (Computer Science/Pure Maths)
Honours, awards and grants

2018 ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Digital Enhanced Living

2013-17 NecTAR: "Alveo Human Communication Science Virtual Laboratory" http://alveo.edu.au/

2011-14 ARC DP, "Enhanced Brain and Muscle Signal Separation verified by electrical scalp recording from paralysed awake humans"
2011-13 Beijing NSF Grant, "Facial Expression extraction using FACS and D-S Evidence
2011-13 Strathmore Who's Who Professional of the Year in Higher Education - Language Technology
2010-12 Chinese NSF Grant, "Multimodal Patterns of Student Learning Behaviour for virtual English pedagogy"
2010-11 ARC LIEF, "BIGASC - an audiovisual corpus of Australian English" http://austalk.edu.au/
2009-12 ARC Discovery Grant, "Heterodensity neuroimaging techniques for spatiotemporal identification and localization"
2008 Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, Flinders University
2008 Executive Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Flinders University
2006-12 ARC/NHMRC Thinking Systems Grant, "From Talking Heads to Thinking Heads" http://thinkinghead.edu.au/
2006-07 Flinders SciEng Program Grant $112K, "Advanced Information Analysis, Techniques and Tools"
2002- DSTO, Cognitive Neuroscience and Military Training, etc. (a series increasing from $10K to over $100Kpa)
2001-04 Commercialization Grants for YourAmigo ($1.5 (1xCOMET, 2x$START, etc. + $25M commercial investment)
2000 ARC Small Grant, Robot Baby Mark II $10K
1999 Special Award for the Advancement of the Turing Test, Loebner Prize in Artificial Intelligence, Bronze Medal
1999-2000 Flinders SciEng, Speech Correction $22K
1998 Flinders SciEng, Auditory Process $5K
1998 DSTO Contract, Clause Analysis $10K
1997-2000 ARC Discovery Grant, "Machine Learning of Japanese/Chinese"
1995 Equal Opportunity Commendation for assisting students with disabilities, Flinders University

Key responsibilities
Research expertise
Artificial intelligence and image processing
Biomedical engineering
Cognitive science
Computation theory and mathematics
Distributed computing
Interdisciplinary engineering
Learning and teaching
Linguistics
Technology
Research interests

Major Artificial Intelligence and Language Technology Lab projects include

  • the Robot Baby - Here we aim to get a computer to learn things the way a baby does, in a real or simulated world, learning about language and the world. Previous work focused on a robot baby/doll with a variety of sensors, microphones, cameras and motors combined with techniques for fusing information from different sources;
  • the Intelligent Room - A related application is an intelligent room with multiple microphones and cameras allowing tracking of speakers and homing in on the desired signal whilst canceling noise and echoes. A natural language/speech interface allowing control of home/office devices was commercialized by I2Net;
  • Talking Head -> Thinking Head -> Teaching Head - Now we are combining speech and language processing, auditory and visual reading of lips/speech and expressions/emotions with dialogue modeling in specific applications in a $3.4M 5 year ARC/NHMRC research project in collaboration with the University of Western Sydney. The mobile project is being commercialized as Clevertar;
  • the Brain Computer Interface - Beyond the Speech Control Interface where we control devices by talking, we can also control devices by thinking! This work was initiated with Prof. Richard Clark and the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory which reported some of the very first results in this area. We are developing interfaces both to monitor the mental state of a person (e.g. stress, skill, fatigue) as well as for thought control of devices ranging from a cursor on the screen to a wheelchair;
  • Intelligent Search and Visualization - Information Retrieval and Web Search are the major current applications involving natural language and provide a challenging test for the techniques we are developing. Deep web research was commercialized as YourAmigo.
Teaching interests
  • Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science, Psycholinguistics, Logic Programming and Robotics
  • Human Computer Interface, Human Machine Interface and Human Factors
  • Programming, Algorithms and Problem Solving
    Sorting and Searching
  • Computer Assisted Education
  • Pedagogical Educational Teaching Agents - Teaching Head
  • Teaching Social, Linguistic and Numeric skills to those with disabilities or disadvantaged or non-English backgrounds
Topic coordinator
COMP3722 Theory and Practice of Computation
COMP8722 Theory and Practice of Computation
COMP8742 Intelligent Systems
COMP3742 Intelligent Systems
COMP4716 Information Retrieval and Text Processing
COMP4712 Embodied Conversational Agents
COMP4715 Computational Intelligence
Supervisory interests
Artificial intelligence
Audiovisual speech recognition
Biomedical analysis, EEG, CT, MRI, ICA
Biomedical and conventional analysis, interpretation and recognition of images
Brain computer interfaces
Cognitive linguistics
Cognitive science
Computational linguistics
Computational models of language acquisition
Computer assisted language learning (CALL)
Computer human interfaces
Constructivism
Heuristics
Image processing
Intelligent rooms and robotics
Linguistics
Logic programming
Logic programming and automated reasoning
Machine learning
Multiagent models
Natural Language Learning
Natural language
Neural networks
Parallelism
Psycholinguistics
Robotic and biomedical engineering
Robotics
Search and visualisation
Speech recognition
Tagmemics
Talking head and teaching head software applications
Higher degree by research supervision
Current
Principal supervisor: Face Recognition/Emotion Recognition (1), Brain Computer Interface/Locked-in Syndrome (1), Computer Vision/Interest Point Detection (1), Ontology/Multimedia (1), Robot Planning and Task Allocation (1), Computer Assisted Language Learning/Teaching (1), Teaching Head/Social Tutor for Autism (1), Computer Vision/Illusions (1), Brain Computer Interface (1)
Associate supervisor: Brain Imaging/Brain Computer Interface (1), Human Computer Interface/Animation (1)
Completion
Principal supervisor: Brain Computer Interface/Subject Transfer (1), Speech Recognition/Word Similarity (1), Human Computer Interface/Information Retrieval (2), Ontology Induction/Word Similarity (1), Information Retrieval/Deep Web (1), Computational Language/Ontology Learning (1), AudioVisual Speech Recognition (1), Blind Signal Separation/Auditory Scene Analysis/Brain Imaging (1), Computer Vision/Evolutionary Computation (1), Robot Vision and Navigation (1)
Associate supervisor: Human Computer Interface (1), Brain Computer Interface (1), Data Mining (1)
Higher degree by research student achievements
Adham Atyabi

Chris Marlin PG Publication Prize - SEP 2014

Adham Atyabi

Vice-Chancellor's Award for Doctoral Thesis Excellence - APR 2014

Adham Atyabi

SA Governor's Interational Student of the Year Award (Academic Excellence) - DEC 2013

Publications
Expert for media contact
Artificial Intelligence
Cognitive Science
Computers
Disability
Engineering - Biomedical
Engineering - Computer Systems
Linguistics
Logic
Psychology
Signal processing
Artificial Intelligence
Biomedical Analysis
Brain Computer Interfaces
Cognitive Science
Computational Linguistics
Educational, Learning and Assistive Technologies
Image Processing
Intelligent Rooms and Robotics
Logic Programming and Automated Reasoning
Machine Learning
Natural Language
Parallelism
Robotic and Biomedical Engineering
Search and Visualisation
Speech Recognition
World Modelling
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
Media expertise
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cognitive Science
  • Computers
  • Disability
  • Engineering - Biomedical
  • Engineering - Computer Systems
  • Linguistics
  • Logic
  • Psychology
  • Signal processing
Interests
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Biomedical Analysis
  • Brain Computer Interfaces
  • Cognitive Science
  • Computational Linguistics
  • Educational, Learning and Assistive Technologies
  • Image Processing
  • Intelligent Rooms and Robotics
  • Logic Programming and Automated Reasoning
  • Machine Learning
  • Natural Language
  • Parallelism
  • Robotic and Biomedical Engineering
  • Search and Visualisation
  • Speech Recognition
  • World Modelling
Further information

Current/Available Student Projects (Honours, Masters & PhD Comp/Elec/Mech/Biomed/Software subprojects)

Matrix/Array Functional/Inductive Answerset logic (MAFIAlog) programming language

  • The aim is to combine the speed of C, the convenience of Matlab, the power of Neural Nets/Learning and the declarative logic and reasoning power of Prolog.

Design and Evaluation of Heterodensity EEG Electrodes

  • The aim is to provide cheap flexible wireless EEG electrodes for Research and BCI with higher resolution where needed.

Grounded Natural Language Learning and Embodied Conversational Agents for Realworld and Internet

  • The aim is to learn grammatical and ontological relations and use them in real world applications (cf. Clevertar/YourAmigo)

Intelligent Buildings (Mechanical/Solar/Thermal, Biomedical/Accessibility, Electronics/Computer/Software)

  • The aim is to for a building to be ecologically and ergonomically efficient, and accessible for everyone as they get older and develop disabilities.

Unconscious Computer Interface (UCI)

  • The aim is to move Brain Computer Interface from unnatural "actions", that need to be trained, to natural "intentions" that are learned.

Audiovisual Brainmuscle Computer (ABC)

  • Wheelchair - aim is to combine Robotic, Computer Vision, Intelligent Building and BCI/UCI technologies for natural high level control of a wheelchair.
  • Desktop - aim is to combine Speech/Language, Ontology/Vision & UCI technologies for computer email/web/office functions.