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Photo of Prof Andrew Howes

Prof Andrew Howes

Professor of Human-Centred Computing


I am excited to be joining University of Exeter and looking forward to exploring the interdisciplinary opportunities that the university offers. My background is in computational cognitive science and I have previously held academic appointments in computer science, psychology and business. My research focus is on human-AI collaboration and in how the next generation of artificial intelligence technologies can be engineered so as to work with people. I want to understand how building machines to support collaborative human decision making can contribute to progress on real-world human decision making problems. My work has previously contributed to the idea that human behaviour can  be predicted with computer models that assume people will behave optimally given limits on the mind's processing capacitites. In contrast, the commonly held view that people are 'irrational' has now been shown to be false in many decision settings. Instead people appear to do the best that they can with the knowledge and processing capacities that are available. It follows that adopting a view of humans as bounded optimal provides a firm scientific basis for artificial intelligence systems that  infer human preferences from behaviour. I am joining University of Exeter as the Head of Department of Computer Science in the Faculty of Environment, Science and Economy and I am very much looking forward to working with colleagues over the coming years. The Computer Science Department has ambitious goals for growth, for research, and for education that are fully justified by the profound contribution that the discipline is making to society and academia. I have every confidence that these goals will be achieved.