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UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Foundational AI



The UKRI Inter CDT Conference 30-31 October 2023

By sharon.betts, on 22 November 2023

For the second year running, the UKRI CDT in Foundational AI, collaborated with the University of Bath and the University of Bristol to organise an inter CDT conference at the Bristol Hotel.

This year our CDT put on a session on AI Vision, organised with Prof Lourdes de Agapito, and a student-led session on the Threat of AI, organised with Reuben Adams and Robert Kirk.

The event began with a welcome to all from our FAICDT Deputy Director Gabriel Brostow, followed on by a Keynote Speech by Jasmine Grimsley and Sarah-Jane Smyth from the London Data Company.

The AI Vision session opened up the individual sessions conference on day one, and we were delighted to host three eminent academics to discuss their work and research. First we had Christian Rupprecht from the University of Oxford discussing ‘Unsupervised Computer Vision in the Time of Large Models’. He was followed on by Laura Sevilla-Lara from the University of Edinburgh, who discussed her work on ‘Efficient Video Understanding’ and the session finished with Edward Johns from Imperial College London, discussing his research on ‘Vision-Based Robot Learning of Everyday Tasks’. The room was filled with an eager audience who asked multiple questions of each speaker, with a real interest and excitement on the work that was being undertaken by all in this field.

The rest of the first day saw sessions from the other two CDTs involved, with an agenda for the event available here: UKRI Inter AI CDT Conference 2023 – ART-AI (cdt-art-ai.ac.uk)

As with our first conference, there was a popular poster session held at the MShed in the afternoon of Day 1, with prizes handed out at our evening dinner. Our new, cohort 5, student Ahmet Guzel was the winner from the FAICDT with a poster that won outstanding marks from all judges on the day.

Day two started with a keynote speech from our final year student Jakob Zeitler, who is currently on interruption whilst working on his start up company Matterhorn Studios. Jakob gave an insightful talk on ‘Machine Learning for Material Science: Using Bayesian Optimisation to Create a Sustainable Materials Future’. We were delighted to have Jakob provide a keynote here and it was wonderful to see so many individuals reach out to him after his talk to find out more about his research and work at Matterhorn.

The afternoon session by the FAICDT was led by students Reuben Adams and Robert Kirk. This was a vibrant session, asking attendees to think about where they currently sat on the spectrum of concern with regards to the safety of AI and then have in depth discussions with one another about possible AI solutions and potential regulations and possibilities for future safety. The event was interactive, and highly engaging!

The event closed with a final keynote by Steven Schokaert from Cardiff University with a networking session for all students before returning to their home institutions.

All in all, another successful event! With thanks to Brent Kiernan, Christina Squire and Suzanne Binding for being co-organisers extraordinaire!

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