X Close

UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Foundational AI



Archive for June, 2023

AI Hackathon at Cumberland Lodge – Recap of Student Led Event

By sharon.betts, on 2 June 2023

We recently organised an AI hackathon, attended by both the members of our CDT and students from AI-focused CDTs at other universities. The hackathon was the main component of a two-night retreat hosted at Cumberland Lodge, a country house and conference venue in the beautiful Windsor Great Park. The event was student-led, and an exciting opportunity to explore new research directions, brainstorm start-up ideas, and build connections with other PhD students in the field.

During the hackathon we split into small groups, each working on their own projects which had been proposed in advance by the attendees. Lots of ambitious projects were suggested, and it was impressive to see them carried out successfully. These included a web app for language learners that uses speech recognition to judge and correct Mandarin tone pronunciation; an investigation into the capabilities of large language models for solving cryptic crosswords, culminating in a thrilling live demo; and mapping out gaps in the market for waste manipulation robotics start-up. 


Most excitingly, a couple of the teams have decided to continue developing their projects after the event, with new apps and conference papers in the works! 

In addition to the hackathon, the students attending from outside of the CDT in Foundational AI presented their PhD research during a poster session. G-Research also attended the retreat, kindly providing welcome drinks on the first night, and hosting a prize giving for their research competition. There were also ample opportunities for socialising over meals and in the bar, and exploring the sunny surroundings of the park. 

Thank you to the CDT management for helping with organising the event, and all the attendees for making it a success. We hope to arrange something similar next year! 


 Oscar Key and Robert Kirk