Hands-on seminar on video-based devices: examples, current possibilities, and limitations (2nd part – Machine learning)

Presenter: Pau Climent-Perez

Date and time: 14th December 15.30-17.00 CET

This is the second part of the hands-on seminar on video-based devices: examples, current possibilities, and limitations, given by Pau Climent-Perez as part of the GoodBrother OnlineSpeak event that GoodBrother organised in October. Due to lack of time, the part on machine learning was postponed. Several tutorial videos on machine learning will be reproduced and a discussion will be open next. If you did not attend the 1st part , we recommend that you watch these videos before this seminar:


Dr Pau Climent-Pérez was granted his Ph.D. in Computer Vision in October 2016, by Kingston University London. He has since had industrial experience in a smart video surveillance company (2016-2018), and as a postdoctoral researcher in the PAAL – Privacy-Aware and Acceptable Lifelogging services for older and frail people project (2018-2021). He got his Computer Engineering (B.Sc.) by the University of Alicante in September 2009, and a Master in Computer Technologies (M.Sc.) in October 2010, by the same institution. His research interests include video solutions for assisted living in the home, as well as privacy preservation methodologies required for improved end user acceptance..

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=nRLGZlYAAAAJ&hl=en

Human Centered Computer Vision

Presenter: Hazım Kemal Ekenel

Date and time: 7th July 2pm CEST


Facial image processing and analysis is the task of automatically analyzing face images in order to acquire information about the depicted persons. This includes a person’s identity, emotional state, facial gestures, age, and gender. The large number of European projects that involves facial image processing as a part shows its crucial role in a wide range of application domains, such as security, smart environments, human-computer interfaces, and content-based image and video analysis. Considering the advanced security needs of the society and the shift to the paradigm of human-centered computing for natural interfaces, the interest in face processing is expected to continue with increasing pace. In this talk Dr. Ekenel is going to present an overview of computer vision research activities @ Smart Interaction and Machine Intelligence (SiMiT) Lab. The covered topics will be about face alignment, face recognition, facial expression analysis, and their applications. Deep learning topics like transfer learning, dataset bias, domain adaptation, and context adaptation will also be discussed.


Dr. Ekenel is a full Professor at the Department of Computer Engineering in Istanbul Technical University in Turkey.  His research interest covers computer vision and machine learning with a focus on face analysis and human perception. He has published more than 100 peer reviewed publications in prestigious international journals, conferences, and workshops in the related fields. He received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of Karlsruhe (TH) in 2009. He has founded the Facial Image Processing and Analysis group at the Department of Computer Science in Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. He has received the EBF European Biometric Research Award in 2008 for his contributions to the field of face recognition. He is also a recipient of the Science Academy Turkey’s Young Scientist Award 2018 and IEEE Turkey Chapter Research Award 2019.

Academic Website: https://web.itu.edu.tr/ekenel/

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=LfIDj68AAAAJ&hl=en

The Pan-opticon effect in AAL

Presenter: Emilio Mordini

Date and time: 1st June 11.00am CEST


English philosopher and political reformer Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) conceived in 1791 a model of prison that, according to him, was much cheaper and more functional than the deportation of convicts in distant colonial islands. In his model prison, there was only one guardian, placed in a tower central, who could check the inmates in all the cells, placed in a circle with the door in the inner part of the circle and a window to give light to the outer wall. The inmates could not see the other prisoners, nor – thanks to an ingenious play of light and backlight – the guardian, who instead had a complete view of their life inside the cells, and also on the activity of the guards under him. Hence the name “Panopticon”, the one who can see everything.
The prisoners never knew whether the guardian was watching them or not. In the primitive project, the guardian could also connect to the cells “in audio”, thanks to metal pipes that allowed them to listen and give orders. This detail was later left out because in the tube audio was not guaranteed the unidirectionality of the communication of the whole device. To be a guardian you don’t need any particular qualities: just look. The family of the guardian, housed in the tower, collaborates in the surveillance and, adds the utilitarian Bentham, without no extra costs. According to Bentham, the architectural structure of the Panopticon could be applied to almost any public buildings, hospitals and nursing home included, where it was needed to supervise hosts.
Finally, the scope of the panopticon was to realize a situation in which people are not continuously controlled but think to be: in such a way they strictly adhere to disciplinary rules because they are sure to be seen although actually they could not, at least to the extent they imagine. The panoptic vision is a differential, asymmetrical vision: there is only one who sees everything and all others see nothing. This is why it lends itself perfectly to exemplifying social control.
A technological application of the Panopticon is the bidirectional television of 1984, the novel by George Orwell. The “telescreen” plays a fundamental role in the novel, so much so that it makes its own appearance on the first page. It is turned on in all houses, it cannot be turned off while it is it is compulsory to attend continuous propaganda broadcasts. It transmits and receives at the same time: everything that happens in the house is transmitted via cable to a centre of police check and you never know if they are at any given moment observing or not.
Bentham’s project was subsequently taken up, and brought back to current events, by M. Foucault’ “Discipline & Punish” (1979). The visibility (which ensures the functioning of power), surveillance (which becomes prevention, because it avoids the repetition of guilt), punishment (which ensures the modification of the behavior that in due time generated guilt) are forms of modern power, in which each supervisor spies on his subordinates and is in turn spied on and observed, in institutions that increasingly tend to be all-encompassing, closed, disciplinary. To Foucault, the Panopticon becomes a metaphor for modernity.
In this seminar, we will pose the question whether AAL systems – which allow to monitor an environment and gather information, being the most straightforward and natural ways of describing events, persons, objects, actions, and interactions – threaten to create a decentralised and dispersed panopticon and, in case, what are the main ethical issues they raise.

Discussion Workshop “Other stakeholders of GoodBrother”

Picture about senior people using technology created by Freepik

Presenter/Moderator: Natália Machado and Willeke van Staalduinen

Date and time: Tuesday 20/4, 11.00-12.00 CET


The aim of GoodBrother is to increase the awareness on the ethical, legal, and privacy issues associated to audio- and video-based monitoring and to propose privacy-aware working solutions for assisted living, by creating an interdisciplinary community of researchers and industrial partners from different fields (computing, engineering, healthcare, law, sociology) and other stakeholders (users, policy makers, public services), stimulating new research and innovation.

What we know from literature and other projects is that it is essential to involve stakeholders in an early stage. This workshop will address the identification of the other stakeholders of GoodBrother, potential methods to involve them and to learn more about their needs and expected outcomes of GoodBrother, and factors for success and lessons learned. 

We are very interested in your points of view and approaches of this topic. Therefore, we cordially invite you to share your point of view during the workshop in a short presentation. Please send your interest to Natália and Willeke, so we can schedule your contributions.

Ethics Frameworks and Guidelines – Ongoing projects with the AAL and CEN

Carina Dantas

Presenter: Carina Dantas

Date and time: 4th March 11.30am CET


This session will present 2 ongoing projects related to Ethics and ICT:

  • The work developed under CEN/CENELEC (with Uninfo) to build and validate the European Professional Ethics Framework for the ICT Profession. The project is planned to work in close cooperation and complementarity with other CEN/TC 428 projects and aims at long-term strengthening of the ICT Profession in Europe giving attention to all stakeholder perspectives and needs that are influenced by ICT Professionalism, including ICT business requirements, market trends and overall digitization of industry.
  • The AAL Programme Guidelines on Ethics, data security and privacy. These guidelines address the AAL Framework of Excellence, including legal compliance and the ethical dialogue, together with some practical cases and use cases and can support the successful adoption and use of ICT solutions by integrating an ethical and basic legal perspective right from the development stage of products and services.