Conference Program

Below is the ACI2020 technical program. You can click on the session's time to check what that is in your part of the world.


10:00-16:00 GMT - Workshop
Designing Technologies for Playful Interspecies Communication

(Organisers: Fiona French, Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas, Heli Väätäjä)
This one-day workshop at ACI2020 examines how we might use technologies to support design for playful inter-species communication and considers some of the potential implications. Here we explore aspects of playful technology and reflect on what opportunities computers can provide for facilitating communication between species.
The workshop’s focal activity will be the co-creation of some theoretical systems designed for specific multi-species scenarios. Through our activities, we aim to pave the way for designing technology that promotes interspecies communication, drawing input not only from ACI practitioners but also from those of the broader HCI and animal science community, who may be stakeholders in facilitating, expanding, and/or redefining playful technology.
Please read the call for participation for more information.

17:00-18:00 GMT - Workshop Plenary
This session is open to all conference delegates regardless of whether they have taken part in the workshop. During the session, workshop organisers and participants will report on their activities during the day. This is an opportunity for all conference attendees to hear about and discuss the workshop outcomes.


09:30-10:00 GMT - Conference opening 

  • Welcome and introductory presentation by Conference Chair

10:00-11:00 GMT - Paper Presentations: Measuring Animals

  • Behavioral and Environmental Analytics from Potential Guide Dogs with IoT Sensor Data Informed by Expert Insight
    (Zach Cleghern, Evan Williams, Sean Mealin, Marc Foster, Timothy Holder, Alper Bozkurt, David L. Roberts)
  • Using Inertial Measurement Unit Data for Objective Evaluations of Potential Guide Dogs
    (Sean Mealin, Marc Foster, Zach Cleghern, Alper Bozkurt, David L. Roberts)


11:30-13:00 GMTPaper Presentations: Designing for Animals

  • Designing Computers for White-Faced Saki Monkeys: Forming Technology Requirements for Zoo Animals
    (Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas, Roosa Piitulainen)
  • Understanding Dogs’ Engagement with Interactive Games
    (Elizabeth J. Cox, Luisa Fernanda Ruge, Clara Mancini)
  • Drone Delivery Service: An Orangutan Enrichment Pilot Study
    (K. Cassie Kresnye, Christopher Flynn Martin, Patrick C. Shih)


14:00-15:30 GMT - Paper Presentations: Animals’ Interactions with Technology

  • Is Nothing Better Than Something? A Preliminary Investigation into Disembodied Stimuli for Home Alone Dogs
    (Alice Torjussen, Holly Root-Gutteridge)
  • Exploring the Needs and Ways to Use Virtual Reality to Understand Animals’ Perceptions
    (Haruka Kasuga, Machiko Ohashi, Masataka Yamamoto, Yusuke Konishi, Haruna Kitamura, Yuichiro Ikeda, Murai Takashi)
  • Use of a Tablet-Based Communication Board and Subsequent Choice and Behavioral Correspondences in a Goffin’s Cockatoo (Cacatua goffiana)
    (Jennifer Cunha)


16:00-17:15 GMT - Poster Presentations and Videos

  • Dog Whisperer: Exploring Applications for Helping Humans Understand their Dogs
    (Haruka Kasuga, Desiree Guarino, Maria Kittan, Lawrence Ashkar, Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas)
  • The ideal care robot for dogs vs. cats based on an online survey
    (Haruka Kasuga, Yuichiro Ikeda)
  • Platypus Surfing: In Search of the Perfect Wave
    (Ann Morrison, Hannah Larsen, Caroline Fieldus, Alexander Kist, Ananda Maiti)
  • Monitoring the Welfare of Bears in Captivity
    (Ceara Byrne, Sabrina Karl, Dana Vilker, Sebastian Meller, Brendan Thompson, Sarah Webber)
  • Social Media Dogs Improve the Offline Human-Animal Bond
    (Jennifer Golbeck)

17:15-17:30 GMTLive Demo

  • Cockatoo-Human Tablet Communication 
    (Ellie and Jennifer Cunha)

SOCIAL SESSION - Virtual Cocktail Bar


08:00-11:00 GMT- Doctoral Consortium

Panel: Ann Morrison, Sarah Webber, Ilyena Hirski-Douglas, Jean-Loup Rault, Jane Turner

  • Session 1Data-Driven Analysis of Animal Behavioral Patterns
    (Tom Menaker)
  • Session 2Flexible Wearable System for Monitoring Vital Signs of Working Dogs
    (Yasin Cotur, Firat Guder)
  • Session 3 - Making-with: A framework for nonhuman animal inclusivity in electronic literature practices
    (Alinta Krauth)
  • Session 4 - Deploying Technology Probes to Reveal the Significant Otherness of Dogs
    (Chloe Talia Kliman-Silver)


11:30-13:30 GMT - Special Guest Session: In Dialogue with Farm Animals

  • Christian Nawroth - Farm Animal Cognition: Human-Directed Behaviour in Goats
    Christian's portrait with goatDr Christian Nawroth is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN) in Dummerstorf, Germany. His research focusses on how farm animals perceive and interact with their physical and social environment and how this knowledge can ultimately be used to improve management conditions and human-animal interactions.
  • Ellen van Weeghel - Animal Capacities in Design (ACiD), an approach to incorporate animal capacities in the design process and to promote animal agency in the final design
    Ellen's PortraitEllen van Weeghel has a master degree in Biology and works as a researcher system innovation in livestock production at Wageningen Livestock Research. And works at the same time on her PhD ‘design for animal welfare’ at Wageningen University. Her mission is to contribute to a good life of production animals and strives for sustainable development of animal production as a whole. Ellen does this by developing design tools and methods that incorporate the animal as a stakeholder and contributor in the design process of more sustainable livestock systems. Currently she focuses on the design of opportunities for production animals to experience positive emotions.
  • Mark Hansen - Computer vision and deep learning for on-farm welfare assessments of dairy cows and pigs
    Mark's portrait
    Dr Mark Hansen is an Associate Professor in the Centre for Machine Vision at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, a joint venture between UWE Bristol and Bristol University. He spent 10 years in industry as a software engineer before returning to academia in 2008 and  gaining his PhD entitled "3D Face Recognition using Photometric Stereo". Currently, his main research interests lie in designing image acquisition systems, image processing, machine learning and bringing state of the art developments into the field via robust commercial prototypes. His work spans many fields from security to medicine, but in recent years his focus has shifted to agri-tech where recent projects have included "Herdvision", a 3D vision system for welfare monitoring of dairy cows; "Grassvision", which detects broad leaf weeds in pasture and most recently, a deep learning face recognition system for pigs that has been extended to stress detection via facial expressions.


14:00-15:30 GMTMeet the Animals: Virtual Visit to Ethical Farm Ahimsa Milk


16:00-17:30 GMT - Paper Presentations: Trends in Animal-Computer Interaction

  • Who Moved My Culture? Expanding Anthropological Perspectives in ACI
    (Orit Hirsch-Matsioulas, Anna Zamansky)
  • Inertial Measurement Based Heart and Respiration Rate Estimation of Dogs During Sleep for Welfare Monitoring
    (Marc Foster, Jianxun Wang, Evan Williams, David L. Roberts, Alper Bozkurt)
  • Movement Patterns as Enrichment: Exploratory Canine-Drone Interaction Pilot Study
    (K. Cassie Kresnye, Patrick C. Shih)
  • Towards Data-Driven Analysis of Animal Behavioral Patterns
    (Tom Menaker, Anna Zamansky, Dirk van der Linden, Dmitry Kaplun, Aleksandr M. Sinitca, Sabrina Karl, Ludwig Huber)
  • Towards Animal Computer Interaction Testing for Assistive Canine Training: Considerations and Recommendations
    (Jai Farrell, Chris McCarthy, Caslon Chua)


18:00-19:00 GMT - Closing Keynote 

  • Irene PepperbergInterspecies Communication, Parrot Cognition, and ACI: A Brief History, the Present, and a Possible Future
    Irene's portraitIrene M. Pepperberg, SB (MIT), MA (Harvard), PhD (Harvard), is the president of The Alex Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to avian intelligence and conservation. She has most recently been a Research Associate and Lecturer at Harvard, where she studied the cognitive and communicative abilities of Grey parrots, including developmental issues. She has published over 100 scholarly articles in peer reviewed journals and as book chapters; is the author of The Alex Studies and Alex & Me; the latter won the 2009 Christopher Award. She has been a visiting Assistant Professor at Northwestern University, tenured Associate Professor at the University of Arizona, visiting Associate Professor at the MIT Media Lab, and adjunct Associate Professor at Brandeis University; she was a senior lecturer at MIT in 2018 in animal cognition. She has received John Simon Guggenheim, Harry Frank Guggenheim, Selby, and Radcliffe Fellowships, is a Fellow of AAAS, APA, APS, Animal Behavior Society, Psychonomic Society, American Ornithologists’ Union, and Midwest and Eastern Psychological Associations. She won the 2005 Frank A. Beach Comparative Psychology Award, Division 6, APA; the 2013 Christopher Clavius, S.J. Award, Sigma Xi, from Saint Josephs University; the 2019 Marquand Award for Excellence in Advising and Support at Harvard; and the Comparative Cognition Society Research Award for 2020. She serves on the editorial board of several journals, was an associate editor of the Journal of Comparative Psychology, a board member of the Eastern Psychological Association and served as a member-at-large for both Divisions 3 and 6 of APA. 

19:00-19:30 GMT - Conference Closing 

  • Final remarks by ACI2020 Conference Chair and handover to ACI2021 Conference Chair