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Dr Sylwia Polberg

Dr Sylwia Polberg

Lecturer

School of Computer Science and Informatics

Email
polbergs@cardiff.ac.uk
Campuses
Room S/2.08, Queen's Buildings - South Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

My main research area is artificial intelligence with a particular focus on computational argumentation. I am especially interested in:

  • Argument-based approaches for modelling agents and dialogues
  • Reasoning with uncertainty
  • Connecting argumentation and cognitive science for non-normative agent reasoning
  • Empirical verification of argumentation formalisms
  • Expressive power and translations between argumentation approaches
  • Application of dialogue-based agents in eHealth
  • Equality and diversity biases in technology and artificial intelligence

Further details of my work can be found in other tabs. 

Biography

I am a computer scientist by education; I have obtained my BSc and MSc diplomas from the Warsaw University of Technology, and completed my PhD studies at the Vienna University of Technology. 

Professional memberships

Since 2016, I am the secretary of the Knowledge Representation and Reasoning 12.1 Working Group of the International Federation for Information Processing Technical Committee on Artificial Intelligence. The group maintains the KRPortal website.

Academic positions

March 2019 - present

Lecturer at Cardiff School of Computer Science and Informatics

March 2016 - February 2019

Research Associate at UCL Department of Computer Science

Member of the EPSRC-funded project Framework for Computational Persuasion EP/N008294/1

October 2014 - February 2016

Project Assistant at Vienna University of Technology Institute of Logic and Computation

Member of the bilateral FWF-DFG project Abstract Dialectical Frameworks: Advanced Tools for Formal Argumentation I1102

Publications

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2014

2013

Teaching

I currently lead the following two modules, each covering a wide range of topics related to informatics:

Please follow the links to find more about the module content. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

I am also interested in outreach activities, especially when it comes to introducing school pupils to concepts in computer science. My primary experience is with "Computer Science Unplugged" activities. Interesting resources can be found here.

The ability to argue and to present arguments in favour or against a given topic is one of the most fundamental, yet complex aspects of human reasoning. It impacts almost everything we do, from decisionmaking to communicating to legal systems. It is therefore not surprising that with the development of computer science, argumentation has become a prominent area within Artificial Intelligence, with applications spanning from medicine and legal reasoning to text comprehension.

The data that is produced by and collected about us has grown drastically over the last decades and can no longer be processed by humans only. At the same time, the availability of human specialists is insufficient in many countries and efforts are made to delegate some of their duties, such as information provision in healthcare, to appropriate pieces of software. All of these developments have led to automated systems becoming vital components for making decisions that can significantly
affect both the lives of individuals and society as a whole. While there are obvious benefits, there are also threats; regular reports of discriminatory behaviour of modern technologies should serve as a reminder than AI is not flawless.

It is therefore becoming more and more apparent that the automated systems need to be able to explain and defend their decisions in an understandable manner. Furthermore, humans need to be able to take part in the decision making process and object to the results if necessary. In other words, the systems need to be able to argue. Additionally, the equality, diversity and inclusivity deficiencies in the technologies we create need to be acknowledged. Steps need to be taken towards increasing the safety and transparency of the tools we create as well as towards raising awareness among researchers on how and when ethical
and social issues can arise as a result of our work.

In my research I focus on these two challenges. My main are expertise is artificial intelligence with a particular focus on computational argumentation. I am especially interested in:

  • Argument-based approaches for modelling agents and dialogues
  • Reasoning with uncertainty
  • Connecting argumentation and cognitive science for non-normative agent reasoning
  • Empirical verification of argumentation formalisms
  • Expressive power and translations between argumentation approaches
  • Application of dialogue-based agents in eHealth
  • Equality and diversity biases in technology and artificial intelligence

Supervision

I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • computational argumentation, and
  • digital humanism, with a focus on equality and diversity biases in AI and technology.