KEYNOTE: Robotics and AI – State of the Art and Future Challenges

Wednesday, 22 September, 13:30 – 14:15 CEST

Speaker: Danica Kragic, Professor at the School of Computer Science and Communication at the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, Sweden
Annotation: Building systems and machines that are autonomous and intelligent, taking over dirty, dull and dangerous jobs, has been an integral part of human history for a long time. Recent advances in robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning have demonstrated how these can be utilized in development of technologies that exhibit rather advanced capabilities. In integration with human decision making and experience, artificial systems are today used to make diagnostics in health applications, make estimations of weather conditions to secure crops, provide more informed predictions of potential earthquakes, and more. Apart from purely software solutions, we are also seeing the beginning of more advanced hardware solutions, robotic systems that are equipped with various sensor technologies and are built to physically interact with humans at workplaces, and sometimes in the future, even our homes.  The talk overviews our current work in this area.

KEYNOTE: Soma Design – Intertwining Aesthetics, Movement and Emotion in Design Work

Wednesday, 22 September, 14:15 – 15:00 CEST

Speaker: Kia Höök, professor in Interaction Design at KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Annotation: We are at a watershed moment: our relationship to technology is about to undergo a dramatic and irreversible shift. With the rise of ubiquitous technology, data-driven design, and the Internet of Things, our interactions and our interfaces with technology will look radically different in the years ahead, incorporating changes like full body interaction, shape-changing interfaces, wearables, and body- and movement-tracking apps. I will discuss how we approach this challenge through Soma Design — a process that allows designers to examine and improve on connections between sensation, feeling, emotion, subjective understanding and values — and their relationships to technology. I will argue that by engaging in a soma design process we can better probe which designs lead to: deepened somatic awareness; social awareness of others in the environment and how they are affected by the human-technology assemblage; enactments of bodily freedoms rather than limitations; making norms explicit; engage with a pluralist feminist position on who we are designing for; aesthetic experience and expression; and, ultimately an aesthetic and ethical position on how to design for being human.

KEYNOTE: The Who, What, How of Software Engineering Research

Thursday, 23 September, 17:15 – 18:00 CEST

Speaker: Margaret-Anne Storey, Professor of Computer Science, University of Victoria, Canada Research Chair in Human and Social Aspects of Software Engineering
Annotation: Software engineering is a socio-technical endeavor, and while many of our contributions focus on technical aspects, human stakeholders such as software developers are directly affected by and can benefit from our research and tool innovations. But how much of our research addresses human and social issues, and how do we study human and social aspects in our research designs? In this talk I present the Who-What-How research framework and use the framework to show how there is a need for more diverse research strategies that aim at a deeper understanding of human and social aspects of software development practice to balance the design and evaluation of technical innovations. I will also share my journey in computer science and why this research topic is so important to me. 

KEYNOTE: Our (cyber) secure future

Thursday, 23 September, 18:15 – 19:00 CEST

Speaker: Jaya Baloo, Chief Information Security Officer, Avast
Annotation: To be announced 

PANEL DISCUSSION: Opportunities for Women in Science, Technology and Innovations in Post-Covid Era

Wednesday, 22 September, 15:15 – 16:30 CEST

Moderator: Dita Formánková, Founder and Director Czechitas, Diversity&Inclusion and Communities Director Avast
Justine Sass, Chief, Section of Education for Inclusion and Gender Equality, UNESCO
Lynda Hardman, Director of Amsterdam Data Science, Professor CWI, Netherlands
Lydia Logan, Global Vice President of Education, IBM
Annotation: Disruptions caused by COVID-19 – both positive and negative – will shape the future progress and engagement of women in technology. Panelists will look at the progress achieved in empowering girls and women and reflect both, the opportunities in industries and the barriers that hold women from equally participating in science, technology and innovation and suggest how the existing interventions and initiatives should change accordingly to achieve better engagement of women in STEM careers.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Emerging Challenges and Opportunities of Artificial Intelligence

Thursday, 23 September, 13:10 – 14:15 CEST

Moderator: Sara Polak, AI Ambassador, Founder of Paioneers Lab Paralelni polis, Director, Founder of Anthropologica

Amina Crooks, AI Institute Director, Deloitte, Australia
Anja Volk, Associate Professor, Utrecht University, Netherlands
Tomáš Mikolov, Senior Researcher, Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics
Annotation: Artificial intelligence is already disrupting every business process in every industry as it brings the transformative potential for the augmentation and also replacement of human tasks. It is becoming imperative for businesses that want to maintain a competitive edge as well as the tool for innovation and scaling an impact at the same time. The panel brings together the insights from leading experts to highlight the significant opportunities, realistic assessment of impact and challenges within a range of domains: healthcare, mobility, education, manufacturing, and finance??!

PANEL DISCUSSION: Competencies for the Future of Innovation

Friday, 24 September, 13:15 – 14:30 CEST

Daria Hvizdalova, Head of Solutions at JHV-ENGINEERING, Partner & Co-founder at Mainware
Robert Campbell, Director, Head of Prague Technology Center at Barclays Investment
Barbara Sichler, Head of Software Engineering, ŠKODA AUTO
Tomáš Szaszi, Director, Strategy & Innovation, EMEA R&D at Honeywell
Annotation: The topic of the panel links to the theme of the conference, which is “Bridging Communities to Foster Innovation”. Namely, this year’s ACM womENcourage 2021 is celebrating bridges built across boundaries of disciplines, inviting individuals with different talents and backgrounds to co-create tech-driven innovation across sectors. The panel will feature inspiring tech and innovation professionals, who lead their teams with future-oriented mindsets. We want to ask them what competencies they would like to have in their teams to keep or even improve their position on the market in the future. We want to learn about their experience with bridging communities in their teams, especially if their teams need to combine people with different backgrounds. We want to learn how they envision the perfect candidate they might be hiring in 5 or 10 years.