As we reflect on the winter festivities here in Ithaca, we think of the closeness of family and friends this time of year. The warmth of these connections reminds us of the camaraderie within our Human Computation Institute (HCI) team when we traveled to Denmark early last year. We are now quite a ways past April, but it doesn’t feel so long ago.

But wait, why was the HCI team in Denmark?? Well, if you saw this blog post, you might recall that we planned to take part in the Danish Science Festival (Open Science Day) at the Steno Museum in Aarhus and the Engaging Citizen Science Conference 2022. Eleven HCI members from four continents converged on Denmark, and many of us were meeting in person for the first time! Like one big zoom meeting, but in real life!  And real life is so much better.

Danish Science Festival

We hit the ground running on our first full day of being in Aarhus with the Danish Science Festival. The festival was held at the beautiful Steno Museum. We were able to engage the Danish public in Stall Catchers and our new prototype “Catchers” game, soon to be announced!

Members of our team had the opportunity to interact with local Danes and share our interests in science and in using it to make the world a better place.

Interacting with Danish Science Festival attendees 

Exploring Crowdbots Workshop

After a much needed night of recovery, our team traveled to Aarhus University for the Engaging Citizen Science 2022 Conference.  Here, HCI hosted the “Exploring Crowdbots” workshop where Pietro shared his vision for including bots as Citizen Science contributors in a well-attended session in the Mogens Zieler Room. He ran the workshop and invited Dr. Jennifer Couch from NIH and Dr. Jacob Sherson from the Center for Hybrid Intelligence to also share their insights.  You can listen to the whole workshop here.

Pietro Michelucci gives instructions for the breakout session
Pietro shows how to use the diagram icons to convey hybrid intelligence

Afterwards, different teams came up with their own models of systems that incorporate humans, bots, experts, machine learning models, and data. You can find the workshop report in the conference proceedings here.

CrowdBots Breakout Sessions

Libi’s poster

Later that day, Libi presented her poster, titled “Assembling spheres: Aligning human computation systems in citizen science.” She held a captive audience as she explained the work of her thesis. And guess what? She won the best poster award in her category! Read all about it in this blogpost.

Libuše Vepřek's winning poster session about aligning Human Computation with Citizen Science

Demo session for our newest "Catchers" project

As if the workshop and Libi’s poster presentation wasn’t enough for one day, we had a last minute opportunity!

There was an opening for us to demo out our new “Catchers” prototype once more. It was basically a round 2 of our demo at the Steno Museum! But there was one key difference. It wasn’t with the general public. No, in fact, it was with other conference attendees with Citizen Science expertise. Talk about pressure! It was a blast sharing our work with them and collecting their expert feedback.

Other Citizen Science project leaders give feedback on newest "Catchers" project

“First Use No Humans” Round Table

Day 2 of the Engaging Citizen Science Conference!

We found ourselves back in the same room as the previous workshop. In the spirit of citizen science, Pietro developed a game to help brainstorm ethical issues in citizen science, since it’s affecting more and more people than it used to. The full title of the round table was “First use no humans” - The Ethical Implications of Hybrid Intelligence in Citizen Science. We plan to write up our findings from this round table discussion soon, so keep your eyes peeled!👀

Pietro & Libi lead an AI Ethics Roundtable discussion at the Engaging Citizen Science conference
Conference participants assign use cases to ethical values

Hybrid Intelligence

Once the conference ended, we proceeded to the Center for Hybrid Intelligence, where our host, Jacob Sherson, reserved a room so we could spend the day hearing talks and giving feedback about each other’s projects.

The two research groups traded presentations and ideas about combining humans and machines

We packed so much into seven days that we are still reeling from the experience, processing the rich feedback, and developing new ideas. In the end, however, the trip was foremost about making connections - with each other, with our conference colleagues, and with Danish science enthusiasts. After all, citizen science is about working together, and in this respect especially, the trip was a great success!

Scientists are people too, and it was a joy to connect over common interests!
The HCI Team and the Center of Hybrid Intelligence Team