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Department of Computer Science and Technology

Four researchers in this Department are talking about their work in pubs this week as part of the science festival, Pint of Science.

Pint of Science is a worldwide science festival that brings researchers to local pubs/cafes/spaces to share their scientific discoveries with the public.  

Tonight (Monday 22 May), Professors Cecilia Mascolo and Neil Lawrence are at Cambridge's Castle Bar for a sold-out event on Artificial Intelligence

In her talk on 'Sounding out the potential of wearable audio for health and fitness', Cecilia (Professor of Mobile Systems here) will reflect on the challenges and opportunities that mobile and wearable health systems are introducing for the community, the developers and the users.

She will draw from her group's ongoing research exploring machine learning and data analysis for health application, and in particular will discuss her project using audio signals for disease diagnostics. 

Neil Lawrence, meanwhile, will discuss 'Being Human in the Age of AI'. Neil (Professor of Machine Learning here) will argue that rather than supplanting our intelligence, AI provides a new lens with which we can better understand ourselves. 

He'll discuss how waves of automation have driven human advance, and how each wave requires humans to adapt to the machine. The promise of AI is to be the first wave of automation that will adapt to us. As this promise seems to be coming close to being fulfilled we are seeing that the machine is gaining new capabilities that we previously thought of as unique to us, so where does this leave the human being in the age of AI?

Two more of our researchers will be in the Castle Bar this Wednesday, 24 May, for an event on 'Systems & Robotics'.

We’re all familiar with the apocalyptic films that place robots as the enemy to human survival in a dystopian future. But are today’s robots really so bad? That's what early career researchers Dr Ajay Shankar and PhD student Nida Itrat Abbasi will be discussing as they explore some of the ways in which systems and robots are being used to improve daily life and help with research. 

In his talk on 'Robotics In The Real World', Ajay will showcase some of his work in field robotics, and discuss how designing robots that can reliably and dependably perform routine activities for us ‘in the wild’ is often quite a challenge. He will talk about the frontiers our research is exploring — like robots that can aid weather forecasts and water pollution studies while working alongside humans and other robots — and, hopefully, impress the broader impact this work has for our world. 

Meanwhile, in 'Can Robots Help in the Evaluation of Mental Wellbeing in Children?' Nida Itrat Abbasi will aim to showcase how child-robot interactions can be used to improve the field of childhood wellbeing, which remains an open challenge in academia.

She'll talk about the hope that this research can provide a valuable stepping-stone in designing safe and effective smart technologies to evaluate the mental wellbeing of the next generation. You can see a short film about her work here: 


Published by Rachel Gardner on Monday 22nd May 2023