Founding Members






The MINDMAKERS.ORG portal is for people collaborating on building large AI systems. It consists of a Project collection, a Forum for disucssions and a Wiki for various member-created pages.

MINDMAKERS.ORG is driven by a non-profit effort and includes people with a diverse set of backgrounds. We believe that collaboration, including that between academia and industry, is a key to our success in understanding intelligence and making practical use of it. So naturally we welcome anyone who shares our vision.



We seek to:

  • Foster collaboration between people spanning several disciplines, from software development to psychological experimentation, from ethics to hardware engineering, and to bring together those whose expertise and ideas will help move the science along;
  • Develop and promote the application of principles which will lead to a greater understanding of embodied intelligence, organic and artificial;
  • Increase the autonomy, knowledge, choice and leisure time of individuals through development of useful, integrated AI systems.

Several factors motivate our work:

  • A much-needed move towards building on prior work in AI, to promote incremental accumulation of knowledge in creating intelligent systems, is long overdue. The relatively small group who is working on broad models of mind, bridging across disciplines, needs better ways to share results and work together, and to work with others outside their field. To this end we want to create principles that support development of re-usable software components, through a common middleware specification, and mechanisms for defining interfaces between components. This will foster increased collaboration, communication and cooperation between software, systems, people, and institutions through this effort.
  • We believe that to study mental mechanisms they need to be embedded in a larger cognitive model with significant breadth, to contextualize their operation. This calls for a focus on supporting large-scale experimentation and integration.
  • By bridging across multiple functionalities in a single, unified system, researchers’ familiarity and breadth of experience with the various models of thought to date – as well as new ones – increases. This is important – as are in fact all of the above points – when the goal is to develop unified theories of cognition.
  • By focusing on the re-use of existing work we are able to support the construction of more powerful systems than otherwise possible, speeding up the path towards useful, deployable systems.

We welcome all developers, designers, artificial intelligence experts and enthusiasts, cognitive scientists & psychologists, computer scientists and amateurs, software architects, and artists who share our mission and want to join in the effort of developing artificially intelligent systems and characters. By this we hope to jumpstart the idea of a place where AI developers can "shop" for modules that fill gaps in their research that otherwise would have gonne unfilled.

The effort:

  • Development of specifications and technologies that help foster cooperation and collaboration.
  • Implementation of working systems based on the OpenAIR platform -- "AIR to share"

    OpenAIR is a routing and communication protocol based on a publish-subscribe architecture. It allows researchers to share code more effectively, serving as the "post office and mail delivery system" for multi-module, distributed systems.

  • Development of courseware and reading materials based on these systems.
  • Documentation and storage of software and other related resources.
  • On-line discussions.

All can be found, or will be available within the next months, on this site.



MINDMAKERS.ORG was started by in 2003 by K. R. Thórisson and a team of AI developers from Communicative Machines. Since the official Beta launch of the site in September 2004 the membership has grown to include established AI researchers as well as young and energetic newcomers, as evidenced by the Founding Members list below.

We are still looking for Founding Members. If you would like to become a Founding Member and participate in formulating the direction of MINDMAKERS.ORG, please write to info|at|mindmakers.org. You can also join the discussion at the MINDMAKERS Forum.


MINDMAKERS.ORG Founding Members

Founding Membership: If you join Mindmakers.org in its Beta phase (from now until the Official 1.0 launch), by contributing substantially, through discussions, OpenAIR development, by providing code, projects or other relevant material, you get to be listed as a Founding Member. We are still looking for Founding Members. Please write to info|at|mindmakers.org. You can also join the MINDMAKERS Forum discussions.

List of Founding Members, as of February 8, 2006:

Bath University
    Joanna Bryson
    Emmanuel Tanguy

Communicative Machines
    John DiPirro

Columbia University
    Hrvoje Benko

Edinburgh University
    Thor List

Kyoto University
    Huang Hung-Hsuan

New York University
    Christopher Pennock

Ontash Systems
    Aruchunan Vaseekaran

Pennsylvania State University
    Information Science and Technology (IST)
    Magy Seif El-Nasr

Paris University, IUT de Montreuil - Universite de Paris 8
    Catherine Pelachaud

Reykjavík University
    Kristinn R. Thórisson
    Yngvi Björnsson
    Gudny R. Jónsdóttir
    Snorri Beck
    Freyr Magnusson
    Hrafn ("Raven") Thórisson

Tokyo University of Agriculture & Technology (TUAT)
    Yukiko Nakano

University of Bielefeld
    Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF)
    Stefan Kopp
    Ipke Wachsmuth

    AI & VR Lab
    Marc Erich Latoschik

University of Southern California
    Information Sciences Institute, Center for Advanced Research
    & Technology in Education (CARTE)
    Hannes Vilhjálmsson

University of Twente
Zsofia Ruttkay

University of Zagreb
Igor Pandzic
    Aleksandra Cerekovic
    Vjekoslav Levacic