Image of scientist

Hector Geffner

Wallenberg Guest Professor, Department of Computer and Information Science, Linköping University

Meet Hector Geffner, a Wallenberg Guest Professor in AI at Linköping University and ICREA Professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, who was recruited by WASP in 2019.

What is your position/role in WASP?

Guest Wallenberg Professor at Linköping University.

Why did you choose to join WASP?

A good opportunity to get to know Sweden better, to interact with my colleagues at LiU, and to start a new research group in AI and ML.

What are the benefits you see in WASP?

Funding, focus on research, a new pool of talent, challenges, collaborations.

Briefly describe your research topic.

The boundary and interaction between data-based AI and model-based AI in the setting of action and planning. Data-based approaches support fast, reactive behavior; model-based approaches support slow reasoning. The two approaches are very much like Daniel Kahneman’s Systems 1 and 2 in his Thinking, Fast and Slow (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011). We need to get data-based AI and model-based AI to talk to each other very much as our Systems 1 and 2 do. This is also the theme of an ERC grant that supports my research in Barcelona.

We have shown that it is possible to learn language-based models for acting and planning directly from unstructured data without assuming any background knowledge. The prior structural knowledge is in the design of the formal languages, which enable the learning of representations that are more general and transparent, have a known semantics, and support reasoning.

In what way can your research be of importance to our society in the future?

Deep learning and deep reinforcement learning have delivered true AI breakthroughs and impressive systems. Yet these systems are black boxes: we do not fully understand them, and they do not understand the physical and social world around them. By learning representations over languages that we design, we hope to contribute with the development of AI systems that are more transparent and that support a more meaningful interaction with humans.

More information

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. View more
Cookies settings
Privacy & Cookie policy
Privacy & Cookies policy
Cookie name Active
The WASP website uses cookies. Cookies are small text files that are stored on a visitor’s computer and can be used to follow the visitor’s actions on the website. There are two types of cookie:
  • permanent cookies, which remain on a visitor’s computer for a certain, pre-determined duration,
  • session cookies, which are stored temporarily in the computer memory during the period under which a visitor views the website. Session cookies disappear when the visitor closes the web browser.
Permanent cookies are used to store any personal settings that are used. If you do not want cookies to be used, you can switch them off in the security settings of the web browser. It is also possible to set the security of the web browser such that the computer asks you each time a website wants to store a cookie on your computer. The web browser can also delete previously stored cookies: the help function for the web browser contains more information about this. The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority is the supervisory authority in this field. It provides further information about cookies on its website,
Save settings
Cookies settings