Bálint Gyevnár

Portrait of Balint Research Postgraduate Student
Centre for Doctoral Training in Natural Language Processing
Institute for Language, Cognition and Computation
University of Edinburgh

I am a PhD student interested in building explainable AI technologies for autonomous vehicles that are human=centric and can communicate using natural language.

My supervisors are Stefano Albrecht, Shay Cohen, and Chris Lucas.

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about me

I am a first-year PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, and my interests broadly lie in the fields of explainable AI, causal reasoning, and conversational agents. Most explainable AI systems rely on surrogate model-based explanations that determine e.g. feature importance orderings, however these surrogate systems are difficult to justify causally, prove they are faithful to the original model, and only provide expert-oriented explanations which often ignore human requirements, such as intelligibility or dialogue. To give satisfying answers to real-world questions we must incorporate the appropriate causal information into natural language replies. While appealing to the social nature of people requires a dialogue-oriented explanation process and a strong focus on human evaluation.

My current research focuses on building human-centric trustworthy AI for autonomous vehicles to support their wider public adoption. I gave a detailed outline of my vision for this project in an award winning essay. In particular, I am looking to achieve this goal by integrating causally explainable methods with autonomous vehicle motion planning (e.g. IGP2) and semantic dialogue systems to deliver relevant explanations about the behaviour of the vehicle.


I am originally from the small suburban town of Göd located some 30 minutes north of Budapest, Hungary. I received my undergraduate education at the University of Edinburgh and gained a first-class integrated master’s degree in informatics (MInf). I also studied abroad for a year at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. My thesis supervisor was Maria Wolters with whom I worked on understanding how and why users deleted or hid their user accounts on social media during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I have also completed a research internship at Five, where I helped with the evaluation of an interpretable goal-based motion planner for autonomous vehicles called IGP2.


I often spend my free time learning languages. Currently, I speak five. In decreasing order of fluency these are: Hungarian, English, German, Japanese, and Russian.

I like playing volleyball and I am currently the treasurer of the Edinburgh University Volleyball Club. My favourite position to play is the setter. I also enjoy walking with people among the stark landscapes of the Scottish Highlands and taking some breath-taking photos while enduring harsh weather.

Occasionally, I sit down to practise the piano. At the moment, I am working through the first movement of Schubert’s piano sonata in B-flat major (D 960). Currently, I am reading Dune by Frank Herbert. A list of books I have read since I have begun keeping records is here.