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UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Foundational AI



Archive for November, 2022

CDT Collaboration – Inter CDT Conference at Bristol Hotel with ART-AI and Interactive AI CDTS 7-8 Nov 2022

By sharon.betts, on 29 November 2022

On 7th and 8th November 2022 three of the UKRI CDTs in Artificial Intelligence hosted an Inter-CDT conference for our students and industry partners at The Bristol Hotel. The UKRI CDT in Foundational AI worked alongside our sister CDTs at the University of Bath (ART-AI) and University of Bristol (Interactive AI), to produce a two day event that covered AI from deep tech entrepreneurship to AI Ethics and Defence.

Turnout from all three CDTs was excellent and it was a wonderful opportunity for students across the three institutions to meet and collaborate with one another, sharing their knowledge and research of AI both in theory and applied.

UCL were delighted to host two panel sessions; the first being on Deep Tech entrepreneurship with Dr. Riam Kanso from Conception X, Dr. Stacy-Ann Sinclair from CodeREG and Dr. Thomas Stone from Kintsugi (ad)Ventures. Hosted by our CDT Director, Prof David Barber, this interactive panel session saw our specialists discuss the pathways into start ups and entrepreneurships, the perils, pitfalls and positives that follow! It was wonderful to be able to hear from industry experts their personal journeys to successful business ventures and great to have such an engaged and enquiring audience, who were keen to ask numerous questions and gain further insight to future possibilities.

Our second panel closed the event and was a student-led initiative discussing large scale datasets and massive computational modelling in AI.

For a more detailed review of the event we highly recommend you read the review by ART-AI on their website.

We were delighted to celebrate our student Dennis Hadjivelichkov’s second place in the poster session that took place at the MShed in Bristol as well as enjoy the fine food and fabulous company of our CDT peers.

With thanks to ART-AI and Interactive AI CDTs for their co-hosting and co-organising skills. It was a delight to be able to share time and work with our sister CDTs and we hope to collaborate again in the not too distant future.

Conferences and Workshops – GOFCP, MLF & EDS 2022 – Recap of events by Antonin Schrab

By sharon.betts, on 16 November 2022

In September 2022 I had the amazing opportunity to participate in workshops in Rennes and in Sophia Antipolis, and in a doctoral symposium in Alicante!

In poster sessions and talks, I have presented my work on Aggregated Kernel Tests which covers three of my papers. The first one is MMD Aggregated Two-Sample Test where the two-sample problem is considered, in which one has access to samples from two distributions and is interested in detecting whether those come from the same or from different distributions. The second is KSD Aggregated Goodness-of-fit Test in which we consider the goodness-of-fit problem where one is given some samples and is asked whether these come from a given model (with access to its density or score function). In the third one, Efficient Aggregated Kernel Tests using Incomplete U-statistics, we propose computationally efficient tests for the two-sample, goodness-of-fit, and independence problems; this last one consists in detecting dependence between the two components of paired samples. We tackle these three testing problems using kernel-based statistics, in such a setting the performance of these tests is known to heavily depend on the choice of kernels or kernel parameters (i.e. bandwidth parameter). We propose tests which aggregate over a collection of kernels and retain test power, we theoretically prove optimality of our tests under some regularity assumptions, and empirically show that our aggregated tests outperform other state-of-the-art kernel-based tests.

I started the month of September by participating in GOFCP 2022, the 5th Workshop on Goodness-of-Fit, Change-Point and related problems, from 2nd to 4th September in ENSAI in Rennes (France). It was extremely interesting to hear about the latest research in this very specific research field which covers exactly the topics I had been working on since the start of my PhD.

I then went to EURECOM in Sophia Antipolis (France) for MLF 2022, the ELISE Theory Workshop on Machine Learning Fundamentals, from 5th to 7th September. Talks and poster sessions covered the theory of kernel methods, hypothesis testing, partial differential equations, optimisation, Gaussian processes, explainability and AI safety.

Finally, I participated in EDS 2022, the ELLIS Doctoral Symposium 2022, hosted by the ELLIS Alicante at the University of Alicante in Spain from 19th to 23rd September. It was an amazing experience to meet so many other PhD students working on diverse topics in Machine Learning. I especially enjoyed the numerous poster sessions which allowed to engage with other students and discuss their current research!

I am extremely grateful to Valentin PatileaMotonobu Kanagawa and Aditya Gulati for the respective invitations, and to my CDT (UCL CDT in Foundational AI with funding from UKRI) which allowed me to participate in those workshops/symposium!

CDT Students shine at poster showcase event

By sharon.betts, on 4 November 2022

Tuesday 1st November was a busy day at the CDT and UCL Centre for Artificial Intelligence with our joint UKRI CDT poster showcase and AI demo event. Together with the UKRI CDT in AI-Enabled Healthcare we put on an event featuring posters, demos, AI art and robots.

David Barber is at podium presenting his thoughts on the CDT to an audience in the Function Space at 90 High Holborn

Prof David Barber presenting the latest news on the CDT

The afternoon began with presentations by the CDT centre directors Prof David Barber and Prof Paul Taylor, as well as our industry sponsor Ulrich Paquet from Deepmind. In attendance were students, academics and industry partners, keen to understand what we have been doing and where our research will take us in the future.

a student demonstrates his work on a laptop and screen

PhD Candidate Jakob Zeitler provides a demo on screen

We had approximately 40 posters on display, with a further 19 demonstrations of AI by a variety of groups from Vision to Natural Language Processing. Engagement with the poster presenters was high across the board and a wonderful opportunity for our students to engage with others about the work that they have undertaken the last few years.

A student presents his poster to a crowd of interested listeners

PhD candidate Reuben Adams presents his poster to a crowd of attendees

We were honoured to have the Provost in attendance to witness just how vibrant and stimulating our centres are as part of a dynamic and successful Computer Science department.

Provost Dr Michael Spence stands in front of AI generated artwork with David Barber and crowd in attendance

Provost Dr Michael Spence unveils the Amedeo Modigliani painting

The UCL Centre of Artificial Intelligence have been donated a rare 3D generated AI generated painting of a Amedeo Modigliani, which started as a Masters and then PhD project for Dr. Anthony Bouchard and Dr. George Cann and will be displayed at the AI Centre for all to see.

The day ended with a robot display in the Function Space, showcasing the quadrapod robots that our students are working with both at the AI Centre and the soon to be opened UCL East.

Two quadrapod robots on display

Two quadrapod robots being demonstrated to the crowd

It was wonderful to witness all the different ways in which AI is being applied and developed to help solve some of societies greatest needs and to have the opportunity to share the work of our students with a wider audience.

With thanks to those who attended, our students, director David Barber, AI Centre manager Sarah Bentley and the TSG team for their time, patience and support in helping to make this a hugely successful event.