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1984 …2024

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Personal profile

Research Biography

Prof. David M W Powers is Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Centre for Knowledge and Interaction Technology and has research interests in the area of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science. His specific research framework takes Language, Logic and Learning as the cornerstones for a broad Cognitive Science perspective on Artificial Intelligence and its practical applications. Prof. Powers is known as a pioneer in the area of Parallel Logic Programming, Natural Language Learning, Unsupervised Learning and Evaluation of Learning, and as Founding President of ACL SIGNLL initiated SIGNLL's CoNLL conference. His CV includes positions at Telecom Paris, University of Tilburg, University of Kaiserslautern, Macquarie University, as well as work with industry, and commercialization of research through several start up companies. Prof. Powers is also a Visiting Professor at the Beijing University of Technology, and serves on several program committees and editorial boards, being Editor-in-Chief of the Springer book series Cognitive Science and Technology and the journal Computational Cognitive Science.

Research Interests

Major Artificial Intelligence and Language Technology Lab projects include

  • the Robot Baby - Here we aim to get a computer to learn things the way a baby does, in a real or simulated world, learning about language and the world. Previous work focused on a robot baby/doll with a variety of sensors, microphones, cameras and motors combined with techniques for fusing information from different sources;
  • the Intelligent Room - A related application is an intelligent room with multiple microphones and cameras allowing tracking of speakers and homing in on the desired signal whilst canceling noise and echoes. A natural language/speech interface allowing control of home/office devices was commercialized by I2Net;
  • Talking Head -> Thinking Head -> Teaching Head - Now we are combining speech and language processing, auditory and visual reading of lips/speech and expressions/emotions with dialogue modeling in specific applications in a $3.4M 5 year ARC/NHMRC research project in collaboration with the University of Western Sydney. The mobile project is being commercialized as Clevertar;
  • the Brain Computer Interface - Beyond the Speech Control Interface where we control devices by talking, we can also control devices by thinking! This work was initiated with Prof. Richard Clark and the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory which reported some of the very first results in this area. We are developing interfaces both to monitor the mental state of a person (e.g. stress, skill, fatigue) as well as for thought control of devices ranging from a cursor on the screen to a wheelchair;
  • Intelligent Search and Visualization - Information Retrieval and Web Search are the major current applications involving natural language and provide a challenging test for the techniques we are developing. Deep web research was commercialized as YourAmigo.

Supervised Students Successes

  • Sep 2014 Adham Atyabi - Chris Marlin PG Publication Prize
  • Apr 2014 Adham Atyabi - Vice-Chancellor's Award for Doctoral Thesis Excellence
  • Dec 2013 Adham Atyabi - SA Governor's Interational Student of the Year Award (Academic Excellence)

Completed Supervisions

Principal Supervisions:
  • Human Computer Interface/Information Retrieval (2)
  • AudioVisual Speech Recognition (1)
  • Blind Signal Separation/Auditory Scene Analysis/Brain Imaging (1)
  • Brain Computer Interface/Subject Transfer (1)
  • Computational Language/Ontology Learning (1)
  • Computer Vision/Evolutionary Computation (1)
  • Information Retrieval/Deep Web (1)
  • Ontology Induction/Word Similarity (1)
  • Robot Vision and Navigation (1)
  • Speech Recognition/Word Similarity (1)
Associate Supervisions:
  • Brain Computer Interface (1)
  • Data Mining (1)
  • Human Computer Interface (1)

Research Areas

  • Digital health

Supervisory Interests

  • Psycholinguistics
  • Logic programming
  • Robotics
  • Brain computer interfaces
  • Speech recognition
  • Audiovisual speech recognition
  • Biomedical analysis, EEG, CT, MRI, ICA
  • Search and visualisation
  • Parallelism
  • Linguistics
  • Cognitive linguistics
  • Computational models of language acquisition
  • Constructivism
  • Logic programming and automated reasoning
  • Natural language
  • Machine learning
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Computer human interfaces
  • Cognitive science
  • Intelligent rooms and robotics
  • Neural networks
  • Multiagent models
  • Tagmemics
  • Heuristics
  • Talking head and teaching head software applications
  • Image processing
  • Biomedical and conventional analysis, interpretation and recognition of images
  • Robotic and biomedical engineering
  • Computational linguistics
  • Natural Language Learning
  • Computer assisted language learning (CALL)


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