Day 1: Industry commitment to the Program and Keynote by Vasco Pedro, Unbabel

During CMU Portugal’s third phase, several Portuguese ICT companies have been associated with the  Program, with 16 CMU Portugal Industrial Affiliates, 17 Companies involved in large-scale projects, and several more in the Ph.D. thesis. In addition to the companies already involved with the Program, others were present at CMU Portugal Summit 2022, such as Fundação Santander Portugal, Startup Lisboa, Neuraspace, and WoW Systems, expressed being open to future collaboration opportunities that may arise in the future.

The first talk of the day was held by the President of Fundação Santander Portugal and head of ESG at the Santander Group, Inês Oom de Sousa, who shared with the audience the Foundation’s investment strategy in R&D+I for social impact and to open the CMU Portugal engagement to foundations promoting the social impact of world-class research.

Inês Oom de Sousa, Fundação Santander Portugal

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Vasco Pedro, Co-Founder, and CEO at Unbabel, led the first Keynote session.  During his talk, he spoke about the work developed under Unbabel. This AI-powered Language Operations platform helps businesses deliver multilingual support at scale, focusing on its long-lasting relationship with the CMU Portugal Program. Vasco Pedro is a CMU’s Language Technology Institute (LTI) graduate, and Unbabel is currently one of the Program’s Industrial Affiliated Partners and is leading the Large Scale Project, MAIA. Vasco’s involvement with Carnegie Mellon University has spanned over 15 years, and he is a big supporter of the collaborative research initiatives made possible through the CMU Portugal Program.

Vasco Pedro. Unbabel

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After a great presentation by Unbabel’s CEO, the first Roundtable under the topic “Mobilizing agendas for business innovation” took place, a discussion moderated by Sir John O Reilly, Chair of CMU Portugal External Review Committee (University College London; Chairman at SERC, A*STAR in Singapore and President of Khalifa University of Science and Technology) and Joana Mendonça, former CMU Portugal Scientific Director and now President at ANI (Portuguese Innovation Agency).

Paulo Dimas, VP of Product Innovation at Unbabel, spoke about the initiative “Responsible AI,” which aims to lead the charge on developing the next generation of AI products created ethically and used to change society for the better. The team will also collaborate with CMU throughout the initiative. Paulo’s intervention was followed by Miguel Campos, CEO at Wow Systems that leads the “The Egames Lab ” consortium that aims to boost Portugal’s eGames development sector and creatives Industries.  Carnegie Mellon University is  one of the partners of the consortium through CMU Portugal. Carlos Cerqueira, Business Development Manager at Neuraspace, completed the panel on the work developed by the company, which is exploring AI smarter space traffic management to fight space debris. Neuraspace was founded by Nuno Sebastião, also co-founder of our partner company Feedzai.

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Summit 2022 Closing Session

To close the “CMU Portugal Program Summit 2022 “New Frontiers in tech”,  James H. Garrett Provost at Carnegie Mellon University, Sir John O’Reilly Chair of CMU Portugal ERC, and José M.F.Moura, CMU Portugal Program Director at CMU, expressed their gratitude to all the attendees coming from CMU and across Portugal, and also their satisfaction with what has been achieved under the Program to date, but above all to see the possibilities that have arisen for future collaborations which were strengthened during this two days of discussion.

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This two-day meeting was a great platform to gather expertise from Industry and Academia from both sides of the Atlantic, opening a pathway for network collaborations between the two countries and exploring the many opportunities offered within the scope of the international partnership.

But this Conference and the CMU Portugal Program are, above all, about people: students under our Ph.D. Programs, alumni who now have leading positions in companies that are still connected to the Program, Researchers and Faculty involved in our initiatives, partners from Industry who support CMU Portugal collaborative research activities, non-corporate entities, and Institutions of the Portuguese R&D System that are a key part of the Program. All gathered to celebrate and share what has been accomplished and establish the groundwork for the future in a joint commitment to keep defining the “New Frontiers in Tech”.


Day 2: Understanding conversations to improve productivity

Fernando Pereira, CMU Portugal ERC member and VP and Engineering Fellow at Google joined Lia Patricio, CMU Portugal Scientific Director from FEUP to lead the panel “Understanding conversations to improve productivity”. At this session João Magalhães (FCT NOVA), Pedro Ferreira (Farfetch) and Alexander Rudnicky (CMU) showed the work being developed by the project’s consortium under “iFetch: Multimodal conversational agents for the online fashion Marketplace”, a Large Scale initiative led by the Portuguese Unicorn Company Farfetch. To present “MAIA: Multilingual Virtual Agents for Customer Service”, two members of the team: Paulo Dimas (Unbabel) and Graham Neubig (CMU).

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Day 2: “Societal Computing” Keynote by Nicolas Christin

Societal Computing to address societal issues and create technologies that impact society

On the second day, everything was ready to launch another day of discussion and networking! Nicolas Christin, Professor in Engineering and Public Policy, Software and Societal Systems at CMU started with a Keynote on “Societal Computing,” focusing on the importance for computer scientists to study the societal impacts of their work to prevent (or at least limit) the undesirable use of the new technologies and ensure they are used to improve our lives.

Nicholas Christin, CMU

Abstract: Computing affects every single facet of our daily lives—computing devices are not only embedded in most of our home appliances, but algorithms also influence the news we see, the places we visit and stay at, the products we buy, and so forth. As such, the discipline of computing has considerably expanded from its computer science core. We argue that it is important for us computer scientists to also study the societal impacts of our work, so that we can prevent (or at least limit) the undesirable use of the new technologies we develop, while simultaneously ensuring they improve our lives. In this talk, I will first discuss our vision for tackling these challenges, that we have implemented as a Societal Computing PhD program at Carnegie Mellon. I will then turn to an example of Societal Computing research my own group has been tackling: building a world-wide censorship measurement infrastructure to distinguish between covert and overt censorship.

Nicolas Christin is a Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, jointly appointed in the School of Computer Science (Software and Societal Systems Department) and the Department of Engineering and Public Policy. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Virginia, and was a post-doc at UC Berkeley prior to joining Carnegie Mellon in 2005. His research interests are in computer and information systems security.

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Day 2: Keynote by Michela Magas “From hands-on experimentation to Industry Commons”

Michela Magas joined CMU Portugal Program Summit 2022 remotely for the last keynote. Michela Magas is  Chair at the Industry Commons Foundation and innovation advisor to the European Commission, and the G7 leaders gave the talk “From hands-on experimentation to Industry Commons”. Michela Magas bridges research and industry with a track record of over 25 years of innovation. She is a member of President von der Leyen’s High-Level Round Table for the New European Bauhaus, and a member of the Advisory Board of CERN IdeaSquare (ISAB-G). In 2017 she was awarded European Woman Innovator of the Year.

Michela Magas, Industry Commons Foundation

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Day 2: AI for extracting value from data

The panel “AI for extracting value from data” was conducted by Giulio Sandini, CMU Portugal ERC Member and Senior Researcher and Founding Director at the Italian Institute of Technology and Paulo Marques, Co-founder and Technical Fellow at Feedzai. Four CMU Portugal projects were presented: “Building HOPE – Building Holistic Optimization of Prosumed Energy” by Carlos Silva (Técnico) and Ana Luísa Pereira (dstSolar); BEE2WasteCrypto by Ian Scott (NOVA IMS) and Rui He (CMU); “FLOYD: 5G/SDN Intelligent Systems For LOw latencY V2X communications in cross-Domain mobility applications” by João Silva (Capgemini Engineering); “SafeForest: Semi-Autonomous Robotic System for Forest Cleaning and Fire Prevention” by Michael Couceiro (Ingeniarius).

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Day 2: Explorative ideas for ambitious goals

In the past year, 6 new Exploratory Research Projects have initiated their activities.  The panel “Explorative ideas for ambitious goals I” was led by Ruben Martins, CMU Faculty member, and João Ferreira, Faculty at Técnico and researcher at INESC ID. Three Exploratory Research Projects were invited to present, starting with José Fragoso Santos (Técnico) of the project “DIVINA: Detecting Injection Vulnerabilities In Node.js Applications”, followed by Alexandre Ferreira da Silva (Universidade do Minho) with “Prometheus – PocketQube Framework Designed for Research and Educational access to Space”, and Nuno Santos (INESC ID) with “DAnon: Supervised Deanonymization of Dark Web Traffic for Cybercrime Investigation”.

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The last panel of Exploratory Research Projects was focused on Healthcare under the title “Explorative ideas for ambitious goals II”. Rema Padman, CMU Professor, alongside Francisca Leite, Director at Hospital da Luz Learning Health to lead the discussion.

Mahmoud Tavakoli, from ISR Coimbra  (Universidade de Coimbra) explained the goal of “Exoskins: AI Codesign of Robotic and Personalized Compliant Exoskins for Physical Exercises, Prosthesis and Rehabilitation.”, followed by Jodi Forlizzi who is leading the “shiftHRI: Exploring the Transfer of Agency to Older Adults in HRI” project at CMU; and last Cláudia Soares (FCT NOVA) and Qiwei Han (NOVA SBE) introduced “MD2TRUST: Trustworthy data science for improving healthcare efficiency: the case of the medical referral process”.

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Day 2: Adaptive, automated, and autonomic computing

The “Adaptive, automated, and autonomic computing” panel was led by Isabel Trancoso, faculty at Técnico and researcher at INESC ID alongside João Barros, former CMU Portugal National Director who founded Veniam, an example of a CMU Portugal project launched in 2009 (DRIVE IN) that was turned into a successful startup. Over the last decade, Veniam became a leading provider of intelligent networking for the internet of moving things led by João Barros as CEO. The company was recently acquired by Nexar, the largest collector of vision data from vehicles in the US (news article).

To present the three LSCRPs, we were happy to welcome the Industry PIs from all the projects, including Pedro Bizarro, Chief Science Officer at Feedzai leading the CAMELOT presentation; João Abril de Abreu, Managing product research and innovation at OutSystems, joined João Costa Seco (FCT NOVA) and Ruben Martins (CMU) to introduce GOLEM; and finally Pedro Artur Fidalgo, Director of Risk Management at Mobileum, the company leading the AIDA consortium.

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Day 1: Startup Lisboa & Unicorn Factory Lisboa closed the first day

The Second Keynote speaker with the last presentation of the day was Gil Azevedo, the Executive Director of Startup Lisboa, on the work developed by the private non-profit association founded in 2012 that provides entrepreneurs with office space as well as a support structure – mentoring, strategic partnerships and perks, access to investment. Startup Lisbon is now leading the development and implementation of HUB Criativo do Beato, an Innovation Center for creative and technological companies emerging in the eastern riverside front of Lisbon, where Factory Lisbon is located and where the Conference took place.

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Day 1 of the Summit demonstrated great participation of CMU Portugal attendees, who benefitted from the Q&A moments during the sessions to question and give fruitful insights to the speakers. Even better were the many networking moments happening during the coffee and lunch breaks, which after more than two years of remote events, allowed the CMU Portugal Community to get back together, catch up and share the developments of their work but also build the ground for future collaborations.