“Connected and Automated Driving – Together, shaping the future”

EUCAD_1TSSG’s DURGA PRASAD KAKOLLU attends first European conference on “Connected and Automated Driving – Together, shaping the future”.

This event was hosted by the European Commission, with the support of the EC-funded projects CARTRE and SCOUT, and its first European conference on connected and automated driving.  Major road transport stakeholders that are automotive and telecom industry, users, road operators, public transport operators, regulators, research centres, universities and representatives of both the EC and EU Member States were present. The four main themes at the conference were transport policy issues, technological challenges, legal and regulatory frameworks and digital transformation. The conference focuses on the significant progress made in developing automated road transport technologies, such as advanced vehicle control, vehicle localization systems, data processing, artificial intelligence or user interfaces, fostered by Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme.

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Could VR be used to battle brain diseases?

TSSG is changing the game with a VR approach to rewire the brain.


Image: Beto Chagas/Shutterstock

Researchers at TSSG in Waterford are on the cusp of a major breakthrough where virtual reality (VR) could be used to help rewire human brains and tackle Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and depression.

TSSG researcher Ian Mills is exploring how VR games can battle major brain diseases and disorders.

‘The system learns the brain and the person learns the experience, and we gradually see more improvements’

Focusing on the connectome, Mills is looking at the brain in the same way technologists would look at a topological map of a network.

“It can be thought of as a wiring map of the brain. In real-world network terms, this is the full network graph of the functional brain network and can be thought of on a micro scale as individual neurons as nodes, and synapses as edges. On the macro scale, nodes can be considered regions of interest, and the exons between these regions considered as the network edges.”

Training the brain to battle disease

Mills said that the key is to look for the outliers of brain diseases in an neurological sense and, in a virtual context, feed VR experiences to the brain.

“We are looking at how we can adopt those contexts to the users themselves, and allow them to change their brain function neural network to a common pattern and thus, alleviate the conditions that would be caused by a neurological disorder or disease such as depression, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.”

So does this mean we can create VR games that could help people mitigate the effects of depression, for example?

“Yes. You are looking at VR-adapted content that is very immersive to a person but if you learn their brain functional networks and start to change the context, it will allow you to change their neural state.

“So, not only are they feeling more immersed and getting a better experience out of the game, they are also learning to fix their mental state and alleviating the conditions of depression or anxiety. So you are gradually curing the person of their ailments.”

To read more on this interview and see a video interview with Ian Mills please visit Silicon Republic by clicking HERE



Artificial intelligence’s future role examined at ConverCon gathering on May 4

ConverCon uncovers the next generation of the internet in a post-mobile app world

ConverCon Dublin Science Gallery My 4thApple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon Echo’s Alexa are changing how we interact with technology and now business owners and managers  have a unique opportunity to learn how to survive, grow and increase their market share with the help of experts from Intercom, Google, Facebook, Webio, Microsoft HoloLens and more.

 The landmark ‘ConverCon’ gathering is Dublin’s Science Gallery on  Thursday, May 4, is where the world’s leading software technology companies, designers and business executives get together to figure out the best way of making ‘conversational interfaces’ work in real life for businesses, brands and customers.
The ticketed event gets underway from lunchtime on May 4 and is billed as an absolute must for anyone managing customer experiences or call centres, digital transformation directors, heads of design and anyone who wants to ensure their company is tech fit for a very different future.
Conversational interfaces such as Siri, Cortana and Alexa are transforming everything we do and knowing how to capitalise on their multi functionality is critical for business for the future, according to ConverCon organiser, Paul Sweeney of Webio.

A conversational interface is any user interface that mimics chatting with a real human, he explained. Instead of communicating with a computer on its own inhuman terms – by clicking on icons and entering syntax-specific commands – you interact with it on your terms, by telling it what to do, whether by voice or by text, he added.

“With rapidly evolving technology impacting how we are engaging with each other, now companies must think about how they, in turn, should interact with their customers. Companies need to deliver more engaging, simple and effortless interactions. At the forefront of these changes are conversational interfaces.

 “When we ask Amazon Alexa to put an item on our shopping list, dim the lights or turn the music up or we’re using one of those new chatbots on Facebook messenger to check when a bill is due, we are using conversational interfaces. Many see them as the next generation of the internet in a post-mobile app world.

“The implications of these changes will be profound and the move to new ways of interacting could happen very quickly,” he said.

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Graduate Programme (Ref: 018978)


This role allows the graduate to engage in cutting edge research for commercial partners of TSSG sponsored by Enterprise Ireland and the European Commission. The role provides the opportunity to work on dynamic, state of the art research projects involving international consortia

Job Title:                                                 Graduate (Ref. No. 018978) 
Department:                                           TSSG (
Location:                                                 Waterford
Commencement Date:                          Summer 2017      

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Conversation on AI commerce should be music to tech giants’ ears

Talk is cheap, but security is king in the AI future of conversational commerce.


Eric Robson, research unit manager of data mining and social computing at TSSG. Image: Luke Maxwell

Researchers at TSSG in Waterford are on the case to make artificially intelligent (AI) voice-based commerce tangible and safe.

The speed of the introduction of services such as Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon Echo’s Alexa makes it easy to forget that the AI future we all dreamed of is actually here.

Yesterday, Gartner fellow and vice-president Tom Austin pointed this paradox out when he said that most of the AI on our smartphones – many of which have been with us for years – are taken for granted.

‘We are seeing cool apps coming out but we have to make sure that we underpin the technology by addressing core security and privacy concerns as well’

And yet, the hottest areas of tech today – AI and machine learning – hold the key to a whole generation of services that will transform our lives forever.

For some, this is already happening. The combination of APIs, the cloud and AI will enable users to simply talk to their phone or Amazon Echo devices and, in a conversational way, ask what their bank balance is like, if they are spending wisely this month, or to order some milk and bread from the nearest Tesco. It is not beyond the realm of possibility for your goods to arrive by drone minutes later. That is the near future.

At present, researchers at TSSG in Waterford are working hard to iron out the kinks from a security and privacy perspective, to enable the compelling AI and voice-based experiences of tomorrow.

TSSG has a track record of building start-ups around evolving technology opportunities. Two years ago, Red Hat acquired TSSG spin-out FeedHenry for €63.5m and recently announced 60 new jobs.

Just this week, TSSG virtual reality (VR) spin-out Immersive VR Education raised €1m to continue to develop breakthrough VR games, including the recreation of historic episodes such as Apollo 11 moon landing and the sinking of the Titanic.

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