This page is meant to be an accessible entry point to what is meant by “Collaborative AI”, and to the resources on Collaborative AI that are available in the AI4EU AI on-demand platform. This guide is part of the broader AI4EU scientific vision on “Human-centered AI”, available here.

What is “Collaborative AI”

A tourist falls ill and needs to go to the hospital in a city, she has not visited before. When she crosses the hospital entrance, a likeable robot approaches her and immediately asks about the reason for visiting the hospital. Thereafter the robot accompanies her to the reception desk where an AI receptionist avatar is waiting. She has a fever and is coughing, suspecting she has the COVID-19 virus. The AI receptionist registers her and asks some questions about the symptoms. Then the AI asks the robot to accompany the patient to the radiologist room where additional tests will be done. A medical doctor with the help of an AI diagnostic system, identifies the illness and prescribes the treatment.

In this futurist example, “Collaborative AI” (CAI) appears in different moments in the hospital episode, when the robot approaches the patient; when the robot accompanies the patient to the AI receptionist avatar; when the AI avatar talking with the person refers her to a specialist medical doctor;  when the robot accompanies the patient to the radiologist room; and when the medical doctor makes a diagnosis with the help of the AI diagnostic system.

Collaborative AI aims at developing future systems where humans and artificial systems work together, taking different roles based on what they do best.

Collaboration requires the human and the AI system to work together as partners to achieve a common goal, sharing a mutual understanding of the abilities and respective roles of each other. Collaboration is a special type of coordination, in which the human and artificial partners work together using a shared understanding of each other's abilities, goals and current understanding.

This symbiosis requires development of techniques, methods and components which enable people and AI systems to work together effectively. In particular, the AI system must be able to assess the current situation, observe the users, predict their actions, anticipate their needs, and act accordingly. These skills generally require a tightly coupled perception-action integration in which the human and the AI system perceive and understand their partner and act accordingly.

Artificial systems can interact with humans and the environment through interactive displays, smart devices, and mechanical (robotic) effectors. Interactive collaboration can involve any of these, or multiple combinations operating in a distributed fashion.

There are a large number of applications where collaborative AI systems can be applied. Some examples are intelligent driver assistance systems; human-computer collaboration in management of crops; human-robot collaboration in manufacturing processes (often called cobots); collaborative AI systems for student assessment; social robots in public environments; and social robots for accompanying and approaching people.

Resources on Collaborative AI available on this platform

Below is a list of useful resources facilitating Collaborative AI currently available on the AI4EU platform. The list is by no means complete, but it can be a good starting point: any contribution or suggestion for further content is well accepted!

Background knowledge on Collaborative AI

  • K1: We maintain an extensive survey on the current research in the field of Collaborative AI. This is a living document, updated by the researchers in AI4EU every six months.
    • Link to the current version:  [coming soon]

Tools for Collaborative AI

Data sets for Collaborative AI

Coming soon.

Case studies of Collaborative AI

Coming soon.

Groups related to Collaborative AI

Researchers working on Collaborative AI


Please help us to complete and maintain this document by notifying corrections or addition to the document maintainer, Alberto Sanfeliu.

Note: if you want to add a software resource, data set or researcher to this document, you first need to make sure that they are available in the AI4EU platform, e.g., by publishing the software.

Cite this document

This document is published under the Creative Commons License Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).  It should be cited as:

  • Alberto Sanfeliu (editor), “A simple guide to Collaborative AI”. Published on the AI4EU platform: June 24, 2020.