Meet the Researchers: ESR5 Ammar ABBAS

Ammar has a master’s degree in Mechatronics through the Erasmus Mundus program (Egypt, France, & Spain) and currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Deep Reinforcement Learning under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship program (Austria, Ireland, Italy). His objective is to improve the deficiencies of society with technology. He has done his bachelor’s in Mechanical engineering from Pakistan and his research interest starting from Mechatronic systems and structures converges to Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI). He has several experiences under different startups related to STEM education and robotics companies. Further, innovative Green Energy Technology is his another field of interest.

About his CISC Research he says
As we see the rise in technology, the systems are becoming more complex and therefore it is becoming difficult for humans or traditional methods to make effective decisions within industrial environments. Especially, for the decisions that are involved within safety-critical industries where human life is at stake.
Most of the research nowadays is focused on providing the Artificial Intelligence full control over such decisions or in some cases not relying or trusting on AI and allowing humans to make all the decisions. However, neither of these is a good way to approach this problem.
Currently, I am in Austria at an industrial partner and my research focuses on having the human and Artificial Intelligence both working together and helping each other in such scenarios; to teach and learn from each other in which they are most capable. Humans are good at making complex decisions from intuition and experience based on logic, whereas AI is capable of processing lots of historical and online data and finding hidden connections between them, and finding similar patterns based on which it can provide suggestions or decisions. In this way, both humans and AI can support such critical decision making as in the maintenance of aircraft engines or minimizing alarms in the process industry helping operators to have a better overview of the system and troubleshooting it when some dangerous event is about to happen to be able to avoid it with the help of AI that can analyse tons of data and find the actual cause behind the problem.
Furthermore, During my secondment in Ireland at TU Dublin; my research focus will be on how humans and robots can work together in the same environment just like colleagues. As we see that most tasks in the industries are automated by robots, however in certain parts human is needed to make the decisions or perform tasks that a robot cannot perform effectively. Therefore, there is a need for an environment where both can work together and develop an understanding of the actions of each other to avoid accidents and work collaboratively.
I will perform my last secondment at Polito, Italy; where I will be focusing on integrating the analysis of human behaviour in an industrial environment and how it affects the quality of the process. Specifically, AI would be able to understand the human’s state of mind and physical health based on which it can make better future decisions to indicate to the manager or tune the process so that it does not create any accidents and does not affect the quality of the process.

September 2022
ESREL PAPER: “Deep Reinforcement Learning as a Rectification Agent in Process Control for Alarm Reduction

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