Prof. Owen Conlan, Professor of Computer Science

Strand 2 – Research for the development of computing technology with insights informed by the Arts and Humanities

Theme – Developing an understanding of the acceptability, with regards to autonomy and authority, of personalisation techniques that enable proactive services to complete tasks, offering real-time assistive interventions, on behalf of the user, based on their preferences and previous behaviours.

Keywords – Personalisation, Notifications, Proactivity, Machine Learning, Authority

Contact details: owen.conlan@tcd.ie

Biography – I am an Associate Professor in Computer Science in the School of Computer Science and Statistics, Director of Postgraduate Teaching and Learning (SCSS) and Co-director of the Trinity Centre for Digital Humanities. I am an active member of the Artificial Intelligence discipline and of the Knowledge and Data Engineering (KDEG) research group, having previously acted as its director. In 2015, I was elected as a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin, which represents the highest honour the university can bestow on its academic staff. I am a recognised thought leader in the field of personalisation (160+ publications; h-index of 24; ~2400 citations), promoting new creative approaches to personalisation, specifically the multi-model, metadata driven approach, the cross-site personalisation approach, the four-phase approach for explorative personalisation and approaches to support metacognition and self-regulation. I am also at the forefront of promoting comparative evaluation techniques in the personalisation research field. It is a mark of prestige that I was selected as the general chair of the leading international conference in the field, User Modelling, Adaptation and Personalisation (UMAP), in 2015. I have secured approximately €9.4m in competitive research and industry funding as principal investigator and I have an extensive network of international multi-disciplinary collaborators through the European Commission projects I have coordinated and in which I performed scientific leadership roles. I am also one of seven founding PIs of ADAPT, a €50 million (co-funded by 25+ industry partners and Science Foundation Ireland) Global Centre of Excellence for Digital Content Technology, led from Trinity College Dublin. I lead a multi-disciplinary team of 10 researchers in the Personalising the User Experience theme of ADAPT. I am a passionate educator, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, with a strong record in developing innovative programmes and modules. I am very much student-centric and am engaged with all facets of developing students, from recruitment (e.g. visiting schools to promote Computer Science) through to supporting students to navigate College policies (e.g. facilitating appeals processes). The goal of my lab is to empower users in understanding and interacting with complex knowledge and media. I have a specific focus on user control over personalised AI-driven systems.