Artificial Intelligence Demystified

Date:     Wednesday 20 Jan 2010
Time:     18:30 – Tea 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker:     Professor Adrian A. Hopgood – Dean of Faculty of Technology, De Montfort University
Location:     AS124, Coventry University


Despite the cold and damp, and the threat of snow, we had a very good turn out for January. We learned that artificial intelligence has been a rich branch of research for computer scientists and psychologists for over 50 years; the concept of mimicking human intelligence in a computer fuels the public imagination and has led to countless academic papers, news articles, and fictional works.

Such exposure has led to high public expectations, despite the incredible complexity of everyday human behaviour and the difficulties in replicating even limited aspects of it. The challenge now is to build a system that can operate across the spectrum of intelligent behaviour from low-level reaction and control to high-level specialist expertise.

The achievement of this goal requires a hybrid approach that draws on a variety of different techniques, each of which was explained by Adrian at an introductory level. Several practical examples were presented, ranging from the control of specialised manufacturing processes to the diagnosis of mouth cancer. No prior knowledge of artificial intelligence was assumed.

Professor Adrian Hopgood joined De Montfort University in 2007 as Dean of the Faculty of Technology, having previously worked for Nottingham Trent University and the Open University. He also has industrial experience with Telstra Research Laboratories in Melbourne, Australia and Systems Designers plc (now part of HP).

Adrian has published widely and his text book “Intelligent Systems for Engineers & Scientists” is ranked as a bestseller. He is a visiting professor at the Open University, Fellow of the British Computer Society, Chartered Engineer, and a panellist for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). He holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Bristol.

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