Prof. Hussein Abbass

Artificial Intelligence - Autonomous Systems - Humans - Swarm- Trust

About Me

I am the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Artificial Intelligence (IEEE-TAI), an IEEE Computational Intelligence Distinguished Lecturer (2022-2024), and a Full Professor at UNSW Canberra.

My Erdos Number is 4: Hussein Abbass (coauthored MR3459093 with) Roel Leus (coauthored MR3736150 with) Yves Crama (coauthored MR2372582 with) Alan J. Hoffman (coauthored MR0565328 with) Paul Erdős

I am a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (FIEEE), Australian Computer Society (FACS), UK Operational Research Society (FORS), and the Institute of Managers and Leaders (FIML). I am also a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

I am fascinated with trusted autonomy: a field that looks at designing safe and trustworthy interaction spaces between humans and smart (Artificial-Intelligence-based) machines. My particular interest is focusing on human-swarm interaction. I focus on designing artificial and computational intelligence algorithms for the autonomy of swarm (distributed AI) systems made of UAVs, UGVs, and software swarm, and the analytics across the interaction space between the human and the swarm. More recently, I am working on quantum-bridges and their applications to AI and swarm systems.

My research brings threads from artificial intelligence, cognitive science, operations research, and robotics to answer the following questions:

What artificial and computational intelligence algorithms and analysis can we design to allow a smart machine to evaluate the trustworthiness of humans and other machines it is interacting with? The challenge here is that Humans vary in their characters, mental states as they get under- or over-loaded, and are by nature (or at least up to now) cleverer than machines. I focus on metrics and the analytics for evaluating human and AI performance, ranging from workload, identity management, to automatic decomposition and complexity assessment of tasks.
What algorithms and analysis can we design to create swarm of machines (UAVs, UGVs, Software) that can interact smartly, safely, symbiotically and fluidly with humans? The challenge here lies in the distributed nature of the swarm. To command a distributed set of AI agents, there is a tight coupling between the smartness of the individual and the smartness of the interface to control them. Desiging the autonomy piece is fascinating. I focus on designing neural network based machine-learning algorithms for swarm autonomy, symbolic interpretation methods for distributed AI and neural networks, and the trust (including assurance) piece of autonomous systems. My work also look at design algorithms for swarm guidance and control that enables humans to manage a large swarm in contested (communication-denied and unpredictable) environment. This work is inspired by shepherding, where we draw inspiration from nature on how a sheepdog manages a large herd of sheep to design reinforcement learning algorithms for swarm guidance.
How to architect the smartness in decision networks made of humans and machines to create trusted autonomous decision networks? Classic AI systems focus on architecting a single agent. In swarm systems, the focus is on both architecting the smartness of a single agent and the network of agents. The smartness of a swarm system does not lie in a single agent alone, but in the network connecting the agents. My work focuses on cognitive architectures within a single agent for bi-directional communication between an artificial and a human agent, as well as between the swarm and the humans. Once the architecture of the agent(s) is in place, the main challenge is then how to "educate" this agent. My work on machine education uniquely brings together the human education literature with AI systems.
10 minutes 9 lessons in 16 years of my life

9 Lessons in 10 Minutes: My Speech at the Launch of UNSW AI Institute, 2022

Trusted Autonomy

Keynote Speech presented at the 2nd International Conference on Sustainable Technologies for Industry 4.0 (STI 2020) on Tenets of Trust and Transparency in Human-Swarm Teaming, 19-20 December 2020

Trusted Autonomy

Plenary Speech given at the Australian Conference on Artificial Life and Computational Intelligence on Trusted Autonomy: Challenges and Opportunities for Computational Intelligence, 31-Jan to 2-Feb, Melbourne, 2017

In The Media

  • Northern Territory Indigenous language Jingili could unlock communication secret between humans and Artificial Intelligence, Canberra Times, 9-Aug-2022, [Click Here]

  • Northern Territory Indigenous language Jingili could unlock communication secret between humans and Artificial Intelligence, Katherine Times, 6-Aug-2022, [Click Here]

  • National Talkblack Interview, Cairns Indigenous Community Radio Station, Bumma Bippera Media (BBM) 98.7fm, 4-Aug-2022, [Click Here]

  • Australian Indigenous language used in AI breakthrough: Simple syntax translates into powerful AI commands, Information Age, Australian Computer Society, 4-Aug-2022, [Click Here]

  • Jingulu language, Wikipedia, 3-Aug-2022, [Click Here]

  • El idioma aborigen puede ayudar a resolver problemas de IA, 3-Aug-2022, [Click Here]

  • Australian researchers develop new communication system inspired by rare NT Aboriginal language Jingulu, ABC News, Darwin, 2-Aug-2022, [Click Here]

  • Des chercheurs australiens développent un nouveau système de communication inspiré de la langue aborigène rare du NT Jingulu, Postsus, 1-Aug-2022, [Click Here]

  • Lengua aborigen australiana revolucionaría la Inteligencia Artificial, Tu Manana, 26-Jul-2022, [Click Here]

  • Lengua aborigen australiana podría resolver problemas de IA, El Impracial, 22-Jul-2022, [Click Here]

  • Rare Aboriginal language ‘helps humans talk to AI machines’, The Times, UK, 21-Jul-2022, [Click Here]

  • Aboriginal language could help solve complex AI problems, Techxplore, 19-Jul-2022, [Click Here]

  • Aboriginal language could help solve complex AI problems, UNSW News Room, 18-Jul-2022, [Click Here]

  • IEEE Experts on How AI is Impacting COVID-19 Research, Business, and Education, MediaPlanet, 30-Dec-2020, [Click Here]

  • Machine Education: Demonopolising Artificial Intelligence, LinkedIn, 17-May-2020, [Click Here]

  • Robotics and coding big focus for rural school students preparing for future job industries,ABC News, 26-Nov-2019, [Click Here]

  • A ‘smart home’ device for the privacy conscious: Google Nest Hub Max review, New Daily, 04-Oct-2019, [Click Here]

  • Curious Kids: are robots smarter than humans? 20-February-2019, [Click Here]

  • Deepfakes 2.0: The terrifying future of AI and fake news, Daily Dot, 5-October-2018, [Click Here]

  • 'Citizenship for Sale', The Global Citizenship Review, Henley and Partners, 21-August-2018, [Click Here]

  • The Human Rights Commission Report on Human Rights and Technology Issues Paper, An Interview with 2CC Radio, Canberra, 2-August-2018

  • Por que a nova Inteligência Artificial do Google levanta preocupações éticas, IDG Now, 11-May-2018, [Click Here]

  • Duplex, la technologie Google qui va trop loin?, Le Monde Informatique, 11-May-2018, [Click Here]

  • Google's Duplex should come with a caveat, says artificial intelligence expert, Phys.ORG, 11-May-2018, [Click Here]

  • Google Duplex should introduce itself as a robot: AI expert, CIO, 11-May-2018, [Click Here]

  • Commentary on Google Duplex: The new AI technology that can make phone calls on your behalf, New Daily, 10-May-2018, [Click Here]

  • Robots that Look Like Us, Big Ideas, ABC National, 6-May-2018, [Click Here]

  • Explore the theme of relationships in Patricia Piccinini's work, Robotics and Art, Queensland Gallary of Modern Art, 26-Apr-2018, [ABC Podcast],[Youtube Video]

  • Do Robots Deserve Human Rights? 5-Dec-2017, [Discover Magazine]

  • An AI professor explains: three concerns about granting citizenship to robot Sophia
    30-Oct-2017 [The Conversation]

  • Artificial intelligence begins to transform security landscape, Jane's Intelligence Review, 2017, [Content Preview]

  • The Artificial Intelligence Revolution - Its Science, Impacts and Issues, Questacon, 8-May, 2017 [Click Here]

  • A Plenary Speeches on Trusted Autonomy: Challenges and Opportunities for Computational Intelligence, 31-Jan to 2-Feb, Melbourne, 2017 [Youtube]

  • The Computer Says Yes, Innovation Month - 24 July 2015 [Youtube] [Transcript]

  • Public Sector Must Adopt Artificial Intelligence - The Mandarin - 24 July 2015 - [Click Here]

  • The Human Machine Balance - International Innovation - Issue 183 June 2015 - [Click Here]

  • Inside Intelligence, International Innovation Magazine: [High Resolution] [Low Resolution]

  • Man and Machine - Uniken - Issue 74 2014 - [Click Here]

  • Computational Intelligence on ABC News - 2012 - [Click Here]

  • Australian Innovation Report - 2010 - [Click Here]

  • Follow That Bug - Cheryl Jones - The Australian IT - May 2002 - [Click Here]

Authored Books

Edited Books