Brookes to host the world’s first social robotics and AI conference

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

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On Thursday 15 September, Oxford Brookes University will be hosting a Social Robotics and AI Conference investigating emerging new technologies and their impact on the worlds of business and work.

The conference’s busy schedule of discussions, demonstrations, debates and presentations will investigate how artificial intelligence can improve UK business competiveness by boosting productivity, powering innovation and augmenting the capabilities of the human workforce.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to see AI in action and meet the innovators, developers and creators with their creations during showcase demonstrations and the exhibition. 

Amongst the high-profile list of guest speakers and contributors is chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov, who famously battled IBM’s super-computer Deep Blue in 1996 - 1997, and brought chess and artificial intelligence into the global mainstream. 

Today, his US-based Kasparov Chess Foundation promotes the teaching of chess around the world, while Garry campaigns for human rights and advises business audiences around the world on innovation, strategy, individual freedom and achieving peak mental performance. 

At the conference, Kasparov will demonstrate how artificial intelligence can liberate human creativity. 

Social robotics and AI are interesting and exciting areas of growth and both have great potential for making an impact on lives, as I’m sure we will see demonstrated and discussed throughout the conference.

Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University

Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, Professor Alistair Fitt will open the conference, he said: “As a university, Oxford Brookes is focusing significant amounts of attention on social robotics and artificial intelligence in research areas such as healthcare, manufacturing and action recognition. 

“Social robotics and AI are interesting and exciting areas of growth and both have great potential for making an impact on lives, as I’m sure we will see demonstrated and discussed throughout the conference. 

“We are very proud of the collaboration between Oxford Brookes University and the Association for Business Psychology and it is an honour to play host to the first in a series of conferences on this important topic.”

Speakers from tech and consumer giants such as IBM, Vodafone and BT as well as tech philosophers and futurologists promise to highlight the positive impact of emerging technologies on business. 

Professor Nigel Crook, Head of Computing and Communication Technologies at Oxford Brookes will also be speaking at the conference on the future of human-robot collaboration in the workplace. He said: “In industry to date, robots have been created to take instruction, not deviate from that instruction and never make suggestions.

“These days, researchers are investigating the potential for next generation robots to act independently, make their own decisions, collaborate with humans and even call the shots in the workplace. 

“In my talk, and based on research being carried out at Oxford Brookes, I will explain some of the latest developments and investigate this possible liberated future for robots.”

Nigel has 30 years’ experience as a lecturer in computer science and researcher in AI. He currently leads research into cognitive robots at Oxford Brookes University. 

The full programme and list of speakers can be found on the Social Robotics and AI conference website.

More information about studying Computing and Communication Technologies at Oxford Brookes University can be found on the Department’s webpages.