Smart Information Flow Technologies (SIFT) is a research and development consulting company specializing in Human Factors and Artificial Intelligence. SIFT's goal is to make the information flow between humans and technology better for both sides -- more efficient, productive, pleasant, and safer. In order to achieve this goal SIFT employs top engineers in the fields of Computer Science and Psychology who specialize in Human Computer Interaction, Interface Design, Human Performance, Artificial Intelligence, Network and Cybersecurity, and Politeness and Etiquette models.
Since our inception in 1999, SIFT personnel have extended the state of the art in a wide range of domains from commercial and military flight decks to DoD small unit operations and have authored well over a hundred papers documenting our many contributions to the state of the art in multiple fields.
Non-Intrusive Detection of Psycho-Social Dimensions using Sociolinguistics, authored by SIFT researchers Peggy Wu, Jeffrey Rye, Christopher Miller and Sonja Schmer-Galunder has been accepted to the Social Network Analysis in Applications 2013 conference (SNAA 13).
NASA has awarded SIFT a Phase I SBIR for exploring the use of virtual environments for astronauts in deep space missions. ANSIBLE (A Network of Social Interactions for Bilateral Life Enhancement) can be used pre, during, and post flight to connect the flight crew with their family, friends, and the ground crew to provide a sense of social consistency and permanence. ANSIBLE is a multi-modal toolset that 1) adapts, rearranges, and modifies human interaction streams to minimize the disruptive impact of communication latencies and 2) leverages virtual worlds (VW) to provide a space where humans and intelligent virtual agents (VA) can be companions, advisors, provided psychological support, and share experiences. VAs capable of detecting changes in astronaut psychosocial states can increase astronaut self-awareness, suggest countermeasures, and provide rehearsal scenarios to maintain and enhance interpersonal skills. University of Southern California(USC)'s Institute of Creative Technologies (ICT) has been at the forefront of applying VWs and VAs to training, therapy, and even detection of depression. SIFT will leverage its ongoing work with NASA's BHP group in unobtrusive detection of psychosocial dimensions, and work together with Dr. Jacquelyn Morie to apply and enhance these technologies to define the future social landscape that connects the flight crew with Earth.
Dr. Ugur Kuter has collaborated with University of Maryland graduate students Ron Alford and Vikas Shivashankar and faculty Dr. Dana Nau on a paper that will appear in the proceedings of the 2013 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-13). This work analyzes Hierarchical Task Network (HTN) planning in light of its difficulty providing complete domain knowledge, i.e., a complete and correct set of HTN methods for every task. To provide a principled way to overcome this difficulty, the authors defined a simple formalism that extends classical planning to include problem decomposition using methods, and a planning algorithm based on this formalism.
Dr. Christopher Miller has been invited by representatives of the Department of Defense of Australia to provide the keynote presentation of the Defense Sciences Institute workshop on Autonomy and the Organization of Tasks at the University of Melbourne to be held on the topic of Automation and the Organization of Work on May 28 and May 29, 2013. In addition, Dr. Miller will present a Lecture in the Black Box series (named for the aviation “black box” which was invented there) to the Defense Science and Technology Organization (DSTO) on the topic of “Achieving the Associate Relationship; Developing Human-Machine Interactions We Can Live With.” Dr. Miller will travel to Melbourne in mid-May and remain there to support these activities, along with interactions and guest lectures at Melbourne universities through mid-June.
Former SIFT summer intern Daniel Geschwender has won a $7,500 Barry M. Goldwater scholarship for his continued pursuit of computer science education and research. This highly-competitive scholarship provides "a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers." Daniel is one of 271 recipients nationwide, with just 14 going to computer science students. Daniel is finishing his undergraduate studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and will continue his research on SAT Solvers and Machine Learning this summer at the University of British Columbia. Read more in the UNL news release.