Two days in the Melting Pot

Last week I spent two days with 24 other ‘early career’ academics in a hotel in Swansea, South Wales. We each presented our research, learnt how to interact with the press, commercialise research, work with industry partners and make up lightening sketches. The event was the first of three ‘Crucible‘ events held as part of the CHERISH-DE (Digital Economy) initiative. CHERISH is headquartered at Swansea University, see . With broadcast quality cameras and sound men with boom mikes frequently capturing our activities, presentations and interviews, it certainly felt like we were indeed in a crucible. I think that was the intention.

I met some great people there, and look forward to catching up again with them in York in a month, and then London in July.

This well planned and professionally run event was facilitated by Vivienne Parry OBE, who did an excellent job getting us all talking and participating in the activities. Vivienne was incredibly knowledgeable about many areas of science, and clearly also an accomplished networker. I was impressed.

I also have a paper at the ICAPS PlanRob workshop in London in June, and another at the IJCAI AI ethics workshop in New York in July, so it’s going to be a busy couple of months ahead!

Rob Wortham

May 2016

One thought on “Two days in the Melting Pot”

  1. A quick update. The final London session was last week (28/29 July), and we formed teams and bid for research funding from the Cherish-DE programme.

    I formed a team with two great academics I met at the Crucible sessions:

    • Eugene Miakinkov, Lecturer in War and Society at Swansea.
    • Elvira Perez Vallejos, Senior Research Fellow at Nottingham.

    With the working title “When Robots Go To War”, we submitted a detailed, costed proposal and then competed with the four other teams in a deliberately high pressure, dragons-den style presentation environment.

    Two of the five teams were chosen. Our team was successful and was awarded funding for a collaborative project between Bath, Nottingham and Swansea.

    Our research will contribute to the growing debate on the use of AI and militarized robots, and will serve as a pilot for future collaborative activity. Our work will also inform the wider AI ethics debate.

    Please contact me directly for any further details.

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