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Non-members are always welcome, so please bring along your friends, perhaps they will join?


Machine Learning & AI

01/03/2017 - 19:00
01/03/2017 - 21:00

Venue: Engine Shed

Speaker: Nigel Toon & Jim Smith

7.00pm Refreshments
7.30pm Main Talk

This event is now fully booked.

This talk on Machine Learning & AI (Artificial Intelligence) and will examine how the capability of the underlying technology is rapidly increasing and what this could mean for potential applications and the impact on people.

Nigel ToonNigel Toon is co-founder and Chairman & CEO of Graphcore Ltd. Graphcore is a new silicon and systems company based in Bristol, UK and Palo Alto, USA that has developed the Intelligent Processing Unit to accelerate machine learning and AI applications.

Nigel was CEO of two VC-backed silicon companies before founding Graphcore; Picochip, which was sold to Mindspeed in 2012 and most recently, XMOS, in which Graphcore was incubated for two years before being established as a separate entity in 2016. Before that he was co-founder of Icera, a 3G/4G cellular modem chip company, where he led Sales and Marketing and was on the Board of Directors. Icera was sold to NVIDIA in 2011 for $435M. Prior to Icera, he was Vice President and General Manger at Altera Corporation where he spent 13 years and was responsible for establishing and building the European business unit that grew to over $400m annual revenues. He is the author of 3 patents, is chairman of the Board of Directors at XMOS Ltd and a non-executive director at Imagination Technologies PLC.

Jim SmithProfessor Jim Smith is Professor of Interactive Artificial Intelligence at the University of the West of England (UWE). After taking an MA.in Electrical Sciences from Cambridge University, he worked in various industrial sectors before returning to academia at UWE, where he took his PhD and now leads the Artificial Intelligence Research Group. He has published extensively on many aspects of theoretical and applied Artificial Intelligence, works which have been cited over 8000 times and have won awards such as the 2001 ACM-SIGEVO prize for papers which are ‘deemed to be seminal’. He has led a number of successful projects concerning the hybridisation of metaheuristic approaches with machine learning, and mathematical approaches funded by the EC, EPSRC, governmental agencies from the UK, US and Brazil, and commercial partners.

Recently his research has increasingly focussed on collaborative human-machine problem-solving, and how machines can deal with the fact that people are not oracles”, but rather are fallible, prone to fatigue and distraction, and are themselves adaptive - often changing their judgements or opinions as their experience changes.

AI & Robotic Ethics

03/05/2017 - 19:00
03/05/2017 - 21:00

Bristol Robotics Laboratory

Venue: Engine Shed

Speaker: Alan Winfield & Chris Holder

7.00pm Welcome
7.30pm Main Talk
8.30pm Refreshments

Please register for this event here

This second talk in the 2017 series will look at AI and Robotic Ethics. The talk will examine the how intelligent robotics has the potential for huge benefit, but is not without ethical or societal risk and where we stand legally on such matters and what this could mean for potential applications and the impact on people.

Alan WinfieldAlan Winfield is Professor of Robot Ethics at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, UK, and Visiting Professor at the University of York. He received his PhD in Digital Communications from the University of Hull in 1984, then co-founded and led APD Communications Ltd until taking-up appointment at UWE, Bristol in 1991. Winfield co-founded the Bristol Robotics Laboratory and his research is focussed on understanding the nature and limits of robot intelligence.

Alan is an advocate for robot ethics; he is a member of the British Standards Institute working group that drafted BS 8611: Guide to the Ethical Design of Robots and Robotic Systems, and currently co-chairs the General Principles committee of the IEEE global initiative on the Ethics of Autonomous Systems. Alan has published over 200 works, including ‘Robotics: A Very Short Introduction’ (Oxford University Press, 2012), and lectures widely on robotics (including robot ethics) presenting to both academic and public audiences.

Chris HolderChris Holder has worked in the IT sector since qualification in 1991 and was one of the first wave of specialist IT outsourcing lawyers in the UK, having worked for both IBM UK and Shaw Pittman in this role from the mid1990s/early 2000s.

He has advised suppliers and customers alike in relation to large scale, national and international IT infrastructure outsourcing transactions around the World and has been involved in some of the largest and most complex deals completed in the UK. This includes many examples of data centre, application development and maintenance, telecoms networks and desktop service deals, either together or as separate ‘tower’ transactions.

Aside from IT Outsourcing, Chris has represented clients involved in a range of BPO transactions, including F&A, HR and logistics and is also involved in systems integration and multi sourcing agreements, hardware purchase agreements, website development and hosting, e-commerce and general commercial contacting in the IT business arena.

Chris is a Partner at Bristows since 2014 and leads the firm’s new Robotics and AI practice and has been involved in many EU and UK based initiatives to begin the development of law and practice in this area.

He has spoken widely on all of the above topics and is a current member of the Technology Committee of the IBA.