Department of Computer Science

Autotelic Interaction Research

The Autotelic Interaction Research (AIR) group seeks to understand, model and support self-directed behaviour in AI, in people, and in their interaction.
The research basis, interests and contributions of the group. Artist: Solip Park, 2023.
The research basis, interests, and contributions of the group. Artist: Solip Park, 2023.

Being rewarding in and of themselves, autotelic (gr. autos - self, telos - end/goal) behaviours are key to lifelong cognitive development, underlie many forms of play and creativity, and have been linked to human well-being. We combine computational modelling, theoretical work and empirical Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) studies to understand, reproduce and foster autotelic behaviour. We approach this as an interdisciplinary team, bridging between AI, HCI, and Cognitive Science, as well as various application domains such as Videogames and Design. Our research contributes to the development of more adaptive, creative, playful and open-ended AI; aims to foster richer and more meaningful interaction through insights into human-AI goal alignment; and yields artefacts and methods contributing to peoples’ autotelic activities. Some examples of our research: 

  • Computational models of intrinsic motivation
  • Minimal models of creative cognition
  • Methods for next-generation videogame AI
  • User studies to support the sustainable adoption of co-creative AI

We are part of the Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence FCAI, the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT, and the European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems ELLIS.

The AIR Group and visitors on a nature outing in October 2023 (some members missing)
The AIR Group and visitors on a nature outing in October 2023 (some members missing)

Meet the Group

 Nadia Ady

Nadia Ady

Postdoctoral Researcher
 Sebastian Berns

Sebastian Berns

Doctoral Researcher (External)
 Katri Manninen

Katri Manninen

Doctoral Researcher (Film)

Julius Repo

Master Thesis Student (Film)

Vertti Luostarinen

Master Thesis Student (Art & Media)

Joonas Lahikainen

Research Assistant

Alumni

Visitors

  • Natalya Weber (Doctoral Resarcher, Okinawa Institute for Science and Technology)

Master Thesis Students

  • Veera Vimpari (MSc.)
  • Inan Evin (MSc.)
  • Ville Kopio (MSc.)
  • Xuehao Zhang (MSc.)
  • Susanna Värtinen (MSc.)
  • Antti Mäkipää (MSc.)

Research Assistants

  • Niki Pennanen

Selection of Current Research Projects

  • Next-Generation Computational Intrinsic Motivation (NEXT-IM, Academy of Finland)
  • Intrinsic Motivation-Based User Modelling (FCAI)
  • Embodiment and the Human Perception of Creative AI (HIIT)

Come work with us!

We’re always interested in meeting curious, smart and ambitious people to work with. If you would like to do a Research Visit/Postdoc/PhD or your MSc thesis with us, please send an email to Christian with: 

  1. Your study transcript incl. grades and scale; 

  2. CV incl. examples of previous work; 

  3. Short motivation incl. the research questions that excite you most, and how they connect with our work specifically. 

Unfortunately, we do not have time to respond to requests that do not include these materials. 

We also encourage you to check out Postdoc/PhD positions in our group advertised through the FCAI/HIIT bi-annual calls. If you are still looking for an inspiring MSc thesis topic, please also check out our current MSc topic offerings on the Aalto CS Wiki.

Latest Publications

Not All the Same: Understanding and Informing Similarity Estimation in Tile-Based Video Games

Sebastian Berns, Vanessa Volz, Sam Snodgrass, Christian Guckelsberger 2024 CHI '24: Proceedings of the 2024 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Towards Mode Balancing of Generative Models via Diversity Weights

Sebastian Berns, Simon Colton, Christian Guckelsberger 2023 Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Computational Creativity (ICCC 2023)

Designing for Playfulness in Human-AI Authoring Tools

Antonios Liapis, Christian Guckelsberger, Jichen Zhu, Casper Harteveld, Simone Kriglstein, Alena Denisova, Jeremy Gow, Mike Preuss 2023 Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, FDG 2023

Computationally Modelling Self-Determination Theory for HCI: The Case of Competence

Erik Lintunen, Christian Guckelsberger, Sebastian Deterding 2023

Effects of Cognitive Abilities on Success in Computer Use

Erik Lintunen, Viljami Salmela, Petri Jarre, Tuukka Heikkinen, Markku Kilpeläinen, Markus Jokela, Antti Oulasvirta 2023

Image-based and machine learning-guided multiplexed serology test for SARS-CoV-2

Vilja Pietiäinen, Minttu Polso, Ede Migh, Christian Guckelsberger, Maria Harmati, Akos Diosdi, Laura Turunen, Antti Hassinen, Swapnil Potdar, Annika Koponen, Edina Gyukity Sebestyen, Ferenc Kovacs, Andras Kriston, Reka Hollandi, Katalin Burian, Gabriella Terhes, Adam Visnyovszki, Eszter Fodor, Zsombor Lacza, Anu Kantele, Pekka Kolehmainen, Laura Kakkola, Tomas Strandin, Lev Levanov, Olli Kallioniemi, Lajos Kemeny, Ilkka Julkunen, Olli Vapalahti, Krisztina Buzas, Lassi Paavolainen, Peter Horvath, Jussi Hepojoki 2023 Cell Reports : Methods

Creative collaboration with interactive evolutionary algorithms: a reflective exploratory design study

Severi Uusitalo, Anna Kantosalo, Antti Salovaara, Tapio Takala, Christian Guckelsberger 2023 Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines

"An Adapt-or-Die Type of Situation”: Perception, Adoption, and Use of Text-To-Image-Generation AI by Game Industry Professionals

Veera Vimpari, Annakaisa Kultima, Perttu Hämäläinen, Christian Guckelsberger 2023 Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction

Cine-AI: Generating Video Game Cutscenes in the Style of Human Directors

Inan Evin, Perttu Hämäläinen, Christian Guckelsberger 2022 Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction

Personalized Game Difficulty Prediction Using Factorization Machines

Jeppe Theiss Kristensen, Christian Guckelsberger, Paolo Burelli, Perttu Hämäläinen 2022 UIST '22: Proceedings of the 35th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology
More information on our research in the Aalto research portal.
Research portal

Related Professors

 Samuel Kaski

Samuel Kaski

Professor
 Jaakko Lehtinen

Jaakko Lehtinen

Associate Professor

Janne Lindqvist

Associate Professor
 Robin Welsch

Robin Welsch

Assistant Professor
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