Seminar 2019/2020: Ethical issues, law & novel applications of AI (MIE 630)

On Tuesdays, 1:30 pm-3:00pm, Room Gilles Kahn or Sophie Germain, Alan Turing Buidling.

  • September 17 - From artificial intelligence to computational ethics, Jean-Gabriel Ganascia, Sorbonne University, Lip6, Chairman of the COMETS (CNRS Ethical Committee) (Amhitheatre Gay Lussac), introduit par Marie-Paule Cani

Abstract: With the development of artificial intelligence, it is now possible to design agents that are said autonomous in the sense that their behavior results from a chain of physical causalities from sensors acquisition of signals to action without any human contribution. There are many possible applications of such agents, for instance in transportation, with autonomous cars, or in war, with autonomous weapons. Since human is not present in the loop, many fears the robots animated by such agents be predatory. In order to prevent unsafe behaviors, references to humane values have to be included in the agent programming. More technically, it means that engineers are now designing the equivalent of an “ethical controller” to restrict the robot actions according to moral criteria. To do so, it is necessary to encode different ethical systems, which gives birth to what is called “Computational Ethics”. At the light of the recent autonomous car accident that happened March 2018 in Arizona, we shall detail de different ethical dimensions that such a controller has to satisfy and the technical difficulties that artificial intelligence researchers who deal with computational ethics are facing.

Bio: Jean-Gabriel Ganascia is Professor of Computer Science at Sorbonne University, senior member of the Institut Universitaire de France, EurAI – European Association for Artificial Intelligence – fellow and member of the LIP6 (Laboratory of Computer Science of the Paris 6) where he heads the ACASA team. In addition, he chairs the COMETS that is the Ethical Committee of the CNRS and he is member of the CERNA, i.e. the Ethical committee of the Digital Sciences of ALLISTENE, which is the coordination of the French research institutes in computing.

  • September 24 - Ethical Issues in AI, chatbots & robots - Laurence Devillers, Professor in Artificial Intelligence at Sorbonne University, Researcher at LIMSI-CNRS - France , Head of the team “Affective and social dimensions in Spoken interaction with (ro)bots : technological and ethical issues” LIMSI & Paris-Sorbonne University. (Room Grace Hopper - 2nd floor), introduit par Marie-Paule Cani

Abstract: In a near future, socially assistive robotics/chatbots aims to address some critical gaps in care by automating supervision, coaching, motivation, and companionship aspects of interactions with the elderly, children, disabled people. Talk during social interactions naturally involves the exchange of propositional content but also and perhaps more importantly the expression of interpersonal relationships, as well as displays of emotion, affect, interest, etc. It is thus necessary that a bigger ethical thought is combined with the scientific and technological development of robots, to ensure the harmony and acceptability of their relation with the human beings. The new AI and Robotics applications in domains such as healthcare or education must be introduced in ways that build trust and understanding, and respect human and civil rights.

Bio: Prof. Laurence Devillers Professor in Artificial Intelligence at Sorbonne University Researcher at LIMSI-CNRS - France Head of the team “Affective and social dimensions in Spoken interaction with (ro)bots : technological and ethical issues”

Prof. Laurence Devillers received her PhD degree in Computer Science from University Paris-Orsay, France, in 1992 and her HDR (habilitation dissertation) in Computer Science in 2006, “Emotion in interaction: Perception, detection and generation” from University Paris-Orsay, France

Laurence Devillers is a full Professor of Computer Sciences and Artificial Intelligence at Sorbonne University/ CNRS (LIMSI lab., Orsay) on affective Robotics, Spoken dialog, Machine learning, and Ethics. She is the author of more than 150 scientific publications (h-index: 35). In 2017, she wrote the book “Des Robots et des Hommes : mythes, fantasmes et réalité” (Plon, 2017) for explaining the urgence of building Social and Affective Robotic Systems with Ethics by design. Since 2014, she is member of the French Commission on the Ethics of Research in Digital Sciences and Technologies (CERNA) of Allistène and participated to several reports on Research Ethics on Robotics (2014) and Research Ethics on Machine learning. Since 2016, she is involved in “The IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in the Design of Autonomous Systems” and the 7008 working group on “Standard for Ethically Driven Nudging for Robotic, Intelligent and Autonomous Systems”. She is also involved in the DataIA institut (Orsay). She participated to the AiForHumanity Forum at the “Collège de France” ( when the AI report of Cedric Villani “For a meaningful artificial intelligence: Towards a French and European strategy” was published and the French President Emmanuel Macron presented his vision and strategy for France and Europe in Artificial Intelligence. She will participate in the “Global Forum on AI for Humanity” on October 28 and 30 2019 in the Science Academy in Paris.

  • October 1st - Facial recognition: from early methods to deep learning, Stéphane Gentric, Research unit manager, IDEMIA (room Sophie Germain), introduit par Nicolas Donati &/or Magali Payan

Abstract: 2D Face Recognition is one of the oldest computer vision application. As techniques improve, more complex databases arise, always leaving space for algorithm improvements. This lecture will review the whole face recognition pipeline, how early methods address the main issues and how Deep Learning handles them now. We will present major operational deployments and the most recent performances. Finally, we will discuss current limitations and future research avenues.

Bio: Stéphane Gentric is Research Unit Manager at Idemia (ex-Morpho) and a Deep Learning lecturer at ESIEA and Telecom ParisTech. He received his PhD on Pattern Recognition at UPMC in 1999. As principal researcher then team leader, he worked on Fingerprint recognition algorithms, then Face, then Iris and now also Video Analytics. As Senior Expert, he was involved in most of Idemia’s projects in biometrics for the past 15 years, such as the Changi border crossing System as well as NIST benchmarks, or the UIDAI project. His current research interests center around pattern recognition for improvement of biometric systems.

  • October 22 - Augmenting bodies using AI : from human know-how to Computer Aided Design - François Faure, CEO Anatoscope. (room Sophie Germain, introduit par Marie-Paule Cani).

Abstract: From walking sticks to bionic arms, people have always augmented their bodies with supplementary or replacement parts to improve their function, comfort or aesthetics. For optimal efficiency, these must be personalized to precisely fit the body, and their design requires significant knowledge and skills on anatomy and mechanics. The Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P) domain has developed a large body of know-how to replicate body parts using plaster, design and sculpt shapes, and mold corresponding devices. This is applied to various body parts such as teeth, limbs, ears. Unfortunately, these techniques are empirical and operator-dependent. To improve precision, O&P increasingly uses digital imaging and design software. However, most of the current software essentially consist of digital sculpting toolboxes, therefore the design process remains virtually as empirical and operator-dependent as before.

In this talk, we present Anatoscope’s approach to tackle the challenge of precision in O&P. To really improve on Computer Assisted Design for O&P, we need to map the skills of good practitioners to numerical methods implemented in computers. Knowledge can be formulated using models and algorithmes, while some skills are easily expressed as rules, and others are more easily described using examples. Our artificial intelligence combines these paradigms through constrained optimizations solved using various strategies. We illustrate these using various examples of dental and orthopedic design.

Bio: François Faure, 49, graduated in Mechanical Engineering at ENS Cachan in 1993, and became a full university professor in Computer Science in Grenoble, 2011. His research contributions range from the simulation of rigid and deformable solids, collision detection, to the computation of personalized models for medical simulation. He founded Anatoscope with four colleagues in 2015, and he has been fully focused on its development since then. In three years the company has signed strategic partnerships in the dental and orthopedic domains, and grown to 40 employees.

  • November 5 - Social and Market Context for AI Advances, Hugo Loi, General Manager Pixlinds (room Sophie Germain, introduit par Damien Rohmer).
  • November 12 - From Phd to Startup creation: Real-estate Market Transparency using AI. Adrien Bernhardt, CTO Homiwoo (room Sophie Germain, introduit par Marie-Paule Cani).
  • November 19 - Google AI principles, Ludovic Peran, Public Policy and Government Affairs Manager- AI, Google (room Sophie Germain, introduit par Erwan Scornet).
  • November 26 - Law and ethics of autonomous robots, Nathalie NEVEJANS, Lecturer in Law, University of Artois (France) (room Sophie Germain, introduit par Erwan Scornet).

Abstract. In recent years, progress of robotics and artificial intelligence are prodigious. All the civil robotics (surgical robots, industrial robots, robots for elderly, services robots, …) and military robotics (war robots, war drones, …) renew the debates. However, the development of autonomous robotics will have an important impact in economics, social, legal and ethics terms.

Autonomous robotics has drawn the attention of the European legislator, as it is shown by the European Resolution on European Civil Law Rules in Robotics of the 16 of February, 2017. However, this text, without any obligatory value, causes more difficulties than it solves. Indeed, it tends to deform the state‐of‐the‐art in robotics and to adopt a vision tinged with science fiction.

By limiting the reflection on the Law and the Ethics of the civil robots, we notice that they pose several difficulties very delicate as well as legal than ethical, especially: Should we grant legal status for autonomous robots? How to determine who is responsible for the damages caused by a robot? How will ethical issues affect the whole civil society when using autonomous robots?

It’s impossible to skip these debates today, because the European Commission have to adopt an European Directive in 2019 on autonomous robotics, which will have an compulsory value in European Union. It’s therefore essential that all these difficulties should be understood right now because of their inevitable impact on society, and on human being himself.

Bio: Nathalie Nevejans is a lecturer in private law at the University of Artois (France), authorized to direct research projects and a member of the CNRS Ethics Committee (COMETS). Author of numerous articles, participating in events for not only the academic world but also industry, she is one of the few specialists in France on the law and ethics of robotics, artificial intelligence and emerging technologies. She is also a member of the Research Centre for Law, Ethics and Procedures (EA n° 2471), as well as the Institute for the Study of Human-Robot Relations (Etude des Relations Hommes-Robots – IERHR). Her book “Treatise of Law and Ethics of Civil Robotics”, LEH editions (1232 pages) was published in 2017.





  • January 7 - Ethical questions in the biometrics industry, Sarah Lannes, Research engineer, IDEMIA (room Sophie Germain, introduit par Marie-Paule Cani).

Abstract: The rise of IA has brought many ethical questions to light in the public and legal spheres. However even before this, ethics and legal matters have always been an intrinsic part of the biometrics field of research due to its very nature. We will present both the legal and technical challenges that we encounter and the solutions we propose.

Bio: Sarah Lannes has been a Research Engineer with Idemia for five years; her main focus is face detections and video analysis. She graduated from the Ecole Centrale de Lyon and Penn State University (MS) and went on to join Let it Wave as a research engineer focusing on image and video processing for a range of applications from geological exploration and satellite imaging to deinterlacing and video super-resolution.

  • January 14 - to be specified, , (room Sophie Germain, introduit par Erwan Scornet). Issam Ibnouhsein Quantmetry? (à confirmer)
  • January 21 - Fighting blindness with bionic eyes, Vincent Bismuth, Pixium Vision (room Sophie Germain, introduit par Erwan Scornet).

Abstract: Restoring vision for the blind has long been considered a science-fiction topic. However, since two decades accelerating efforts in the field of visual prostheses have yielded significant progress and several hundred patients worldwide have received such devices, with various outcomes. This seminar will briefly present the field with a special focus on the image processing side, providing an overview of the main approaches, limitations and results.

Bio: Vincent Bismuth is leading a career in the field of medical devices, centered on expertise in image processing. He spent 10+ years developing image and video processing algorithms for interventional Xray procedures at General Electric Healthcare before moving into a French start-up, Pixium Vision, that design vision restoration systems for the visually impaired. He recently moved to the mammography division of General Electric where he is leading image processing developments.

  • January 28 - IA & Carrefour, Sylvain Marsault, (room Sophie Germain, introduit par Erwan Scornet).
  • February 11 - to be specified,, , (room Sophie Germain, introduit par Marie-Paule Cani).
  • February 25 - to be specified,, , (room Sophie Germain, introduit par Marie-Paule Cani).
  • March 3 - to be specified,, , (room Sophie Germain, introduit par Marie-Paule Cani).
  • March 10- to be specified,, , (room Sophie Germain, introduit par Nicolas Donati &/or Magali Payan).