MAGICS Community Event

Ever wondered what all you could do in virtual, augmented, and mixed reality? How to measure and observe how people respond and interact in virtual and naturalistic contexts? Is it possible to meet virtually, to see, hear, touch and smell, as if the other people were in the same space with you? 

In October, we launched a series of events for the MAGICS-Aalto community. The second monthly event takes place in the Odeion theatre in Otaniemi (TUAS building, Maarintie 8) on 25 November at 18:00-20:00. Please not that the time has been postponed by one week from the preliminary announcement. 

Our purpose is to bring together people from different backgrounds and inspire new encounters and new ideas through high-level speakers and performers, as well as possibility for open and free discussion. 



18:00 Welcome and introductions
Mikko Sams, Professor of Neuroscience, Brain and Mind Laboratory Director of MAGICS, Aalto University 

18:05 The Unreasonable Power of Modern Neural Language Models
Professor Perttu Hämäläinen and doctoral student Mikke Tavast

Abstract: The talk provides an introduction to large-scale neural language models such as OpenAI’s GPT-3, across multiple domains like creative writing, idea generation, and in-silico research into human experiences. The latter in particular demonstrates the capability of such models to operate as general-purpose world models or counterfactual ”What if?” engines. The presentation includes interactive experimentation and demonstrations using OpenAI’s GPT-3 Playground. For a balanced view, we also comment on the biases, limitations, and misuse potential of the current state-of-the-art, and how the issues might be mitigated in the future. 

19:00 Discussion

19:30 Refreshments

MAGICS-Aalto community event on Thursday 16 December at 16:00-19:00 has been cancelled.

The next MAGICS-Aalto community event will take place hopefully on Thursday 17 February 2022 at 16:00 - 19:00, venue to be confirmed. Please note that this event has been rescheduled from Thursday 20 January, and will be confirmed on a new event page - this page will not be updated.

Speaker will be professor Ville Pulkki, and the topic: Music and emotions, a composer’s view with psychoacoustic twist. 

Perttu Hämäläinen_Photo: Veera Konsti
Photo by Veera Konsti

Perttu Hämäläinen is an associate professor at Aalto’s departments of Media and Computer Science, with degrees in CS, EE, and Interaction Design. His research interests include a mix of UX, game design, VR/AR, AI & machine learning. He is perhaps most well-known from the experimental exergames Kick Ass Kung-Fu & Augmented Climbing Wall, and the spin-off companies Valo Motion and Virtual Air Guitar Company. For projects and videos, see

Mikke Tavast photo

Mikke Tavast is a Doctoral Candidate at Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, Aalto University. Mikke's research area is affective science: the interdisciplinary study of emotions and other affective phenomena. Initially trained in clinical psychology, his Ph.D. research takes a multidisciplinary approach to affective experience. He collaborates with philosophers, neuroscientists, computer scientists, and artists with the common goal of finding new ways to increase our understanding of human emotions. The topics of his research include the subjective feelings associated with different types of love experiences, the relationship between individual and collective emotions, and the potential of deep learning language models as a tool for affective science research.

Mikko Sams

Mikko Sams is a professor of cognitive neuroscience in Aalto University and academic leader of MAGICS-Aalto and coordinator of the MAGICS infrastructure. He has studied neural mechanisms of human cognitive functions, from sensory processing to complex cognitive functions and experiences. In his research, he is focusing on the measurement of human experiences under naturalistic conditions and developing this research field in MAGICS-Aalto.

For more information:
[email protected] 

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