Human Skills & Competencies

Human Skills and Competencies Lab is using advanced technology to understand and enhance human skills and competences.

At its core, Hybrid Intelligence is about combining strengths and weaknesses of humans and algorithms in meaningful, complementary ways. To create hybrid intelligent systems, it is important to build new, powerful and innovative algorithms, but also to understand human skills and competencies more deeply. This is to make sure that the hybrid intelligent systems we build are able to augment humans in a meaningful way.


In Human Skills & Competencies Lab, we work with human and machine learning. Our goal is to better understand how humans and computers can learn together.

Methodologically, we take a Design-Based Research approach to building tools for learning that are designed to work in corporate and educational contexts and that support all stakeholders. This means that we begin prototyping early and in the context in which final products will be used.

Didactically, we take a Constructionist approach, aiming to support reflection in action through Machine-Learning based problem representations. This means that we build tools-to-think-with that take a primary starting point in learners’ prior knowledge.

Thinking with Technology Tools

Technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are often studied and used as tools to give us the answers to questions. At our Center, we design, build, and study technologies that support humans while they search for answers. This is what we call 'Technological Tools to Think With'.

We are currently working with several different technologies in this capacity, and you can read more about the technologies, our use-cases, and our ongoing research under each technology.

Cognitive Science

Cognitive Science is an interdisciplinary study of the mind and its processes such as how we make decisions, how we use language, how we interact socially with others and how memory works. As cognitive processes are very complex, Cognitive Science combines approaches from multiple disciplines such as neuroscience, psychology, philosophy and AI to investigate them.

People have always tried to understand the mind, but Cognitive Science as a field gained popularity in the 1950s, when researchers from different fields started developing theories based on computational procedures and complex representations during the so-called Cognitive Revolution.

Cognitive Science is relevant in many areas of life, as humans use cognitive processes all the time – memory, perception, language, emotions and problem solving are a few examples. It is therefore important to understand more about these processes, since the more we understand, the better solutions we can develop, whether that’s educational programs or building smarter, more user-friendly devices, or advancing treatment for Parkinson’s disease. For this reason, Cognitive Science uses an interdisciplinary approach, as well as empirical studies with human subjects.

At our Center, cognitive science informs the way we design our games, tools and interventions. Within several of our consortia of interdisciplinary researchers from around the world, we conduct both theoretical and experimental work in cognitive science.

Citizen Science

At our Center, we started out generating citizen science games in quantum physics in 2012 by turning the mathematical optimization challenge of controlling the motion of individual atoms into a game: Quantum Moves. Since then, we have developed a suite of other natural science games addressing for instance a Millennium Prize Mathematical challenge on Turbulence and NP-hard problems in computer science and the physics of spin glasses. In parallel to this, we started developing a series of social science research games among others related to 1 dimensional (Alien Code) and 2 dimensional (Crystal Crop Fever) human search and human learning.

In another branch of Public Participation in Research (PPR) games, we transformed a series of standardized psychological tasks into entertaining games in Skill Lab and created a broad creativity assessment suite called CREA.

Finally, in our Games4Good initiative we explore the use of games for engaging the general public in debates and considerations around global crises like in the CoronaMinister game and the crea.visions project.


Janet Rafner, Head of Unit
Cognitive Science

Safinaz Büyükgüzel
Front-End Developement

Hermes Arthur Hjorth
Assistant Prof.
Learning&Interaction Design

Blanka Zana
MSc Student
Cognitive Science

Qian Janice Wang
Assistant Prof.
Experimental Psychology

Dóra Verasztó
BSc Student
Cognitive Science

Mads Kock Petersen
PhD Student
Data Science