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Artificial intelligence research at Khoury College is developing systems that help us interact with the world and each other. Our researchers are creating robotic systems that can act in the physical world, data mining techniques to help us understand text, virtual humans that can teach us, and games that entertain us. Through computational modeling of human creativity, cognitive processing, and emotions, AI research is poised to also help us better understand ourselves. Driving these research areas is a range of basic algorithm research at Northeastern, in neural networks, probabilistic modeling, cognitive modeling and statistical learning methods. From predicting the behavior of groups and even small cities to designing virtual human systems that interact with real people, advances in artificial intelligence research is transforming the way we design, build, teach, and communicate.

Areas of investigation:

  • The design of cognitive, emotional, social, and physical behavior models.
  • Application of human behavior modeling to the design of health interventions and social skills training to the simulation of social systems.
  • Robotic systems capable of flexibly interacting with the world.
  • Design of virtual humans capable of interacting with people using verbal and nonverbal behavior.

Khoury is spearheading world-renowned advances in intelligent system design. PhD and Masters students engage in hands-on applications of computational models, testing new systems in real-world scenarios that accelerate the everyday use of artificial intelligence, including:

  • Virtual humans and social systems to train doctors in post-crisis scenarios
  • Simulations to design safer, more resilient buildings and cities
  • Operator interfaces on robots to explore distant planets

Notable achievements:

  • Khoury researchers created an animated virtual nurse that educates hospital patients about health conditions and post-discharge self-care, encourages people to exercise and take medications, and simulates face-to-face conversations with a health professional using natural language processing.
  • Khoury has been awarded grants from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and other federal agencies to develop models for mapping different writing styles and languages into common representations.
  • Khoury researchers created the Endless Web, an experimental game that tightly integrates procedural content generation into both game mechanics and aesthetics.
Students examine a robotic arm