NEWS | Sept. 15, 2011

NRL Researchers Produce Award-Winning AI Video

By Donna McKinney

Naval Research Laboratory scientists recently won the Best Educational Video award at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence's (AAAI) annual conference in San Francisco on August 8, 2011.

Their award-winning video, Robotic Secrets Revealed, Episode 002, demonstrated research on robot perception (including object recognition and multi-modal person identification) and embodied cognition (including theory of mind, or the ability to reason about what others believe). The NRL team used a highly entertaining vignette that included two people interacting with two robots. The video can be seen at

The team that created the video works in NRL's Navy Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence. Team members include Dr. Laura Hiatt, Dr. Anthony Harrison, Dr. Ed Lawson, Dr. Eric Martison and Dr. Greg Trafton. Dr. Hiatt and Dr. Martison are NRL postdocs, This is the second time NRL researchers have been recognized with a video award at the AAAI conference. In 2009, their video, Robotics Secrets Revealed: Episode 001, won the prize for Most Informative Video.

The goal of the AAAI video competition is to show the world how much fun artificial intelligence is by documenting exciting artificial intelligence advances in research, education, and application. The rules are simple: Compose a short video about an exciting artificial intelligence project, and narrate it so that it is accessible to a broad online audience. The developers of award-winning videos receive Oscar-like trophies, called Shakeys in honor of SRI International's Shakey robot and its pioneering video.