Category Archives: Events

CIUUK15: Less than 2 Weeks to go!

A Message from Daniel Lewis – Chief Co-organiser of the Computational Intelligence Unconference:

Computational Intelligence Unconference UK 2015
#CIUUK15
15th August 2015 : 10am – 6pm : Strand Campus, Kings College London

There are less than two weeks to go until the event, and everything is full steam ahead!

We’ve got so many high quality speakers we almost ran out of space on the schedule for them. Rohit Talwar and Prof. Murray Shanahan will be opening the unconference with a discussion about the future of artificial intelligence from a business and societal point of view. We’ve got a section on human-computer interaction with Blaise Thomson and James Ravenscroft. We’ve got a section on Smart Cities and the Internet of Things with David Beeton and Rajesh Bhardwaj. We’ve got a section discussing the practicalities of computational intelligence with Marcelo Funes-Gallanzi, Dr Leandro L. Minku and Peter Morgan. We’ve also got a health and medicine section with Pam Yoder, Hari Ponniah and Dr Yonghong Peng. Plus we’re also putting together a panel of politics/government experts from across the political spectrum to discuss the impact of AI and technology on policy.

It really will be an immensely interesting day, and we are very excited. We hope you are too. Have a look at the schedule on the website.

So far we have three sponsors confirmed: The Goodwill Company as Platinum Sponsors, AVNTK as Bronze Sponsors and ContactSingapore as tea&coffee break sponsors. We have also had a good number of you provide a little bit of crowdfunding sponsorship, which really does help! Plus we’ve had a couple of other offers recently which are yet to confirm. However, we are still short, and so if you personally or if your organisation can help then please do let us know. We are a non-profit organisation, and we don’t charge for admission, and so we are reliant on the generosity of sponsors. The email address is at the bottom of this email if you wish to get in touch about this.

 

You may also want to consider getting yourself a T-Shirt, and profits go towards the venue and catering costs. Get your T-Shirts here: https://www.tboom.co.uk/ciuuk15

CIUUK15 T-Shirt

There is still much to do. We will be updating the website over the next few days with the most recent information, and we will be responding to many emails which came through over the past few days about the event. (Apologies if you’re one of the people waiting for a response!). We will also try to put a list of nearby hotels on the website, just in case you’re staying in the area.

What can you do? Well, make sure you can still come. It’ll be on the 15th August 2015, and we will start at 10am – so try to arrive 15-20 minutes earlier. But no problems if you can only be there part of the date. If you booked multiple tickets, then please also make sure that you can still bring those people, and I will be asking for names of your plus-ones shortly before the event. Come to the event with ideas, come to share, and come with a problem-solving hat on.

The website is: http://ciunconference.org/uk/2015/  & the hash-tag is: #CIUUK15

Any questions then please do send them in my direction, I’d be happy to respond.

See you there!

Daniel Lewis

daniel@ciunconference.org

CIUUK15 Update

I’ve just sent out a message (similar to what is below) to our Computational Intelligence Unconference UK 2015 attendees…

At the time of writing we have 109 days to go (event is on 15th August 2015), we have 100 people already registered (our capacity is over 200) – 7 of which have given us some crowdfunding,  we have 5 speakers already confirmed (with much more time and space for additional talks/workshops). A very big thank you to those who have registered, and if you haven’t registered yet, then go do it now (website: http://ciunconference.org/uk/2015 )

But we need help! Here is how you might be able to help:

(1) Social Networking: We need help to get the word out about the event. If you have a twitter, facebook, linkedin or other social network account then it would be great if you could advertise the event. You can use our official Short-URL bit.ly/ciuuk15 and our official tag #CIUUK15

(2) Sponsorship: We are in urgent need of sponsorship. We’ve got to raise funds to cover the cost of the venue and the food & drink. We are doing our best to keep costs down and get the best deals. Ideally we need a few corporate sponsors, and preferably quite soon, however smaller organisations and personal donations will be very welcome (including crowdfunding offers). If you work for an organisation who could offer some sponsorship in return for marketing/advertising and bespoke audience-engagement, or if you could personally offer to cover the costs of attendance (which is roughly £60 a head), then please let me know as soon as possible. Even if you have a contact in a related company which might be interested in helping us out, then let them know and let me know. I will reiterate, we are non-profit, and are entirely organised by volunteers, and all incomings will go straight into venue/catering costs. The event is heavily dependent on the generosity of our sponsors and volunteers.

(3) Meet-ups/Hackathons: We have a seminar room, and we’re keen on having guest meet-ups and guest hackathons use the space for an hour or two each. So, if you lead or are a part of a (related) meet-up or hackathon, then please get in touch.

(4) Tutorials/Workshops: The same seminar room could also be used by a business or organisation for a tutorial/seminar/workshop. However, we may ask for a donation if the business is for-profit. Feel free to email me to find out more.

(5) Talks: We are also in need of more talks. Short talks and Long talks. If it’s a talk by a business then the business might also want to think about helping to sponsor the event. If its a talk from a personal perspective, or a very technical perspective, then the talk can be done freely (libre et gratis).

(6) Volunteering: We will need on the day volunteers. Volunteers will help manage the rooms and the microphones, and will help give out the badges/lanyards at start. We also need people to: bring cameras (still and moving); to help live tweet the event; and to blog before/during/after the event.

Contact me now if you can help. My email address is:
daniel [at] ciunconference [dot] org

More information about the event is on our website:
http://ciunconference.org/uk/2015
Kings College, London - 15th August 2015 – 10:00-18:00

On behalf of the organisation team, thank you for your interest, thank you (in advance) for your help, and to those of you attending, I look forward to seeing you on the 15th August 2015.

Daniel Lewis
* Chief Co-organiser of the Computational Intelligence Unconference UK 2015
* Founder & Chair of the Computational Intelligence Unconference Association (a Non-profit Unincorporated Association)
- Email: daniel [at] ciunconference [dot] org

Thoughts on… wearable technology

I haven’t “broadcasted” this widely yet, but I am a participant in the 1st Dress/Sense Competition (2014), which is taking place over three Saturdays (separated by two weeks each). The competition brings together computer scientists, electrical engineers / engineering designers, medics, fashion designers – most are university students (either undergraduate or postgraduate). It also brings in quite a few school children (the youngest being 12 years old). The idea of the competition is to bring these people together, forming small teams, to brain storm and create prototypes of wearable technology for the health reasons, and they have to be comfortable and fashionable. It could be for the purpose of diagnosis, or improving the wellbeing of sufferers of particular diseases, or anything else. It could be physical or psychological health, or both. There is a secondary aim, and that is to ensure costs of the item is minimal, allowing us to provide welfare for sufferers without excessive bills or taxes. We are therefore using things like the LilyPad Arduino.

This is exactly the kind of competition I like, it is co-operative rather than violently competitive, it has a grand vision for the benefit of humanity, and it brings together people of different ages and with different backgrounds to innovate.

We need more of this humanity co-operation in life, not just for healthcare innovation (or tech innovation in general) but for other areas too – politics, education, sustainable energy, urban living, rural living, everything! I want our prime ministers and our presidents to start talking about co-operation, start talking about true community, start publicly talking with those co-operating, and talking with those in communities, and start being part of co-operating communities themselves.

Anyway, I digress. I’m attending this competition to give my knowledge of computer science (particularly artificial intelligence, but probably also a lot of programming knowledge), along with my own personal interests in cardiac health and also future of humanity. We’ve already done one Saturday, and we are due to formulate teams and ideas in the next Saturday. I am enjoying it immensely.

Thoughts on… my postdoctoral position (late 2015 / early 2016)

I’ve been thinking about what happens after my PhD, I am due to complete it around October/November 2015. I would love to know for sure that I’ll be at X University doing Y research and Z teaching. As I am a strong believer in transparency and openness, I’d like to open up my careers search. Below you’ll find some details about me and what I am looking for, and if you can help me in any way then I would love to hear from you. Please contact:
danieljohnlewis [at] gmail [dot] com


 

Who (name): Daniel John Lewis
Who (current detail): Daniel is a PhD student in Engineering Mathematics (Intelligent Systems) at the University of Bristol, where he is researching a form of fuzzy data mining over hierarchical data sets. Due to complete PhD in October/November 2015. He has also received teaching experience while at the University of Bristol, and has assisted with “widening participation” programmes.
Who (background detail): Before beginning his PhD he worked for a non-profit on a Linked Open Data EU-funded project (LOD2). Before that he has had numerous positions in Semantic Web / Linked Data Consultancy and Web / Software development.
Who (other detail): He is also an events organiser (voluntary, e.g. Computational Intelligence Unconference), and has written technical documents for numerous online (e.g. IBM developerWorks) and print outlets (e.g. .net Magazine).
Who (languages spoken): English (mother-tongue), Italian (improving), Spanish (very basic)
Who (currently where): Bristol, England, United Kingdom.
Who (previously where): Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom, and before that, Kent, England, United Kingdom.

Position wanted: Research position or Research+Teaching positions
To start: End of 2015 / Beginning of 2016
Location type wanted: A University or a Research institute. Public or private. I am only currently interested in university / research institute positions, and not for-profit business.
Location wanted: United Kingdom (preferably South England or South Wales), elsewhere in the European Union (preferably Italy or Italian-speaking Switzerland), or in the USA (preferably California), but open to other suggestions
Department wanted: Open to ideas, but could be Computer Science, Mathematics, Philosophy or Psychology
Research wanted: Can come with own ideas, or happy to work on existing ideas. Would be good to focus on Data Mining and/or Artificial Intelligence and/or Artificial General Intelligence. Preferably including the use of fuzzy set theory / fuzzy logic, would also be open to belief function research. Would also be happy to partake in research into Digital Humanities, Robotics and/or Smart Cities. Also happy to use my knowledge of Semantic Web / Linked Data.
Teaching: Would be happy to teach/lecture things relating to computer science, particularly artificial intelligence, logic and/or programming (primarily Python and/or C).

For more details about Daniel please visit his LinkedIn profile ( @danieljohnlewis ), and if you can assist with his search for a postdoctoral university position then get in touch via email. His personal email is:
danieljohnlewis [at] gmail [dot] com

(
Replacing the [at] with @, and the [dot] with .
This is for spam deterrence.
)

MIRI: Machine Intelligence Research Institute

MIRIx Bristol – October 2014

This invite is about MIRIx, a set of local events affiliated to the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (based in California) – one of the worlds best known research organisations of “Friendly AI“. I am the volunteer organiser for “MIRIx Bristol”, and I’d like to get our first meeting off the ground. MIRIx will be held at the University of Bristol in South West of the United Kingdom.

We are planning to have our first meeting in October 2014 (date to be confirmed), and if the reader is interested in attending, then please do send an email to me. We will have to vet applications for attendence. This is partly due to security, as the event will be held on university premises, and partly because numbers will be limited.

Although the event is likely to be made up largely of University of Bristol staff and students, we may well have visitors from outside of the university – particularly those who are involved in Friendly AI research  / MIRI / “Less Wrong” Community.

We will be talking about the combination of Probability and Logic, in particular we will discuss the paper:
“Definability of Truth in Probabilistic Logic” by Christiano, Yudkowsky, Herreshoff, Barasz

We will also discuss work on Bayesian Logic Networks by the famous Stuart Russell.

We are hoping to have snacks and drink available (for free, thanks to sponsorship). However, this is to be confirmed.

This blog post will be updated when the date is confirmed and when the food & drink sponsorship is confirmed. Thank you for your patience.

CI Unconference UK 2014 – Organisers Report

The following post was originally posted at:

http://ciunconference.org/uk/2014/report.php

 

Computational Intelligence Unconference UK 2014 on Saturday 26th July 2014 at BT Centre, Newgate Street London

CI Unconference UK 2014: http://ciunconference.org/uk/2014/

Organisers Report

Report Written on Monday 28th July 2014 by Daniel Lewis

 In short, the day went incredibly well, and I would consider it to be a success.

The talks were of very high quality, and when they were given to our attendees the talks became high quality discussions.  This was largely due to a good amount of questions and comments from the group, and also the time-cushions between talks that I had scheduled. Thank you to the speakers!  Talks were split over two rooms, with longer talks and large-group discussions happening in the 170-seater “Auditorium”, and shorter talks and smaller-group discussions happening in the 40-seater “Media Suite”. We also had Damien and Viktoriya give demonstrations during lunchtime of the Micro Python kit. Also, Andrew Vladimirov gave demonstrations through the whole afternoon of his brain monitoring and brain stimulation devices. Both demonstrations received much attention, and a good amount of dialogue.

Some videos, and a good amount of still photos, were taken of the day, and will be available to find via this years event website (along with slides from the talks). The event was supported by the volunteers, and a big thank you from all attendees go to: Beki, Marcelo, Dennis, Steve, Cathy and Abi. The event was also live-documented by attendees via twitter with the hash-tag #CIUUK14. I suspect that blog posts and other forms of report will appear online in due course.

The venue was sponsored by the BT Innovate and Design Team (based at Adastral Park, Martlesham Heath (near Ipswich), Suffolk), and was hosted at the BT Centre at 81 Newgate Street, London. On behalf of all the attendees I thank BT for helping us get the unconference running, from those that sponsored the event, to the production team, the AV team and the reception & security teams. A special mention to Rebecca, Monika, Nick and Nick, who helped us a huge amount on the day itself.

The food and drink was sponsored by:

  • Gold Sponsors – Storybricks,
  • Silver Sponsors – RecSys, EF and Oxford University Press,
  • Bronze Sponsors – futuretext and The Human Memome Project

and was provided by the BT Centre Catering team. A big thank you to all of our sponsors on behalf of all of the attendees.

However, there are a few lessons learned. 

Attendance rate. We had approximately 180 people attend, with most attending the entire day (10am – 6pm). Although this is a very healthy number and turned-out to be a good number, it is approximately a 45% no-show rate from our original 325 bookings. Such a high no-show rate is usual when free tickets are involved. However, we will be looking to investigate how we might get a lower no-show rate next year. This might involve either a two-tier ticketing system (for waged a very-low ticket price and unwaged/students at no ticket price), or a donations-based ticket approach where an attendee decides how much they pay based on how much they can afford and how much they think it will be worth. Of course revenue from these methods would go straight into the event itself, and the event would retain its completely non-profit status.

Scheduling. One thing that seemed to be quite essential was that many attendees seemed to expect a printed copy of the schedule. Although this is quite understandable, it is a little worrying as the nature of unconference is quite free-flowing, and we had moved some of the talks to up to 15 minutes earlier during the day, and actually scheduled in a tea & coffee break which did not exist prior to the day. We will ensure that in the future we have printed copies of the schedule, however, we’ll have to ensure somehow that attendees are aware of changes as they happen.

Temperature. We are aware that the temperature of the Media Suite got quite high, I personally spoke to the events production manager at the BT Centre about this, and the cooling system was at full power. Unfortunately it got too warm simply because the room being at (or possibly above) maximum capacity at times, also with people using laptops and mobile devices, and the temperature from outside (it was a very hot summers day outside!).

Video. Many people, both attendees and some who could not attend, wished to have videos of all talks (and some wanted video of the demonstrations). Unfortunately we had not arranged this fully, this was simply a matter of human error. That said, we managed to arrange for two people to come in last minute to video the talks. One turned up (Jamie (thank you!)), and one did not. We could have organised for the BT Centre to bring somebody in to record the auditorium talks with their equipment, however, this would have cost quite a large amount of money for which we did not have the sponsorship.

Lunch. We had ordered sandwiches for 200 people, and we had approximately 160 attendees wanting lunch. The sandwiches all disappeared within 15 minutes. We also had several bowls of fruit, which largely disappeared quite quickly. Nobody mentioned to me that there was not enough lunch, although I suspect that it was quite simple and some attendees may have still been quite hungry. The cost of the lunch, the tea and coffee in the morning and afternoon, and the labour equated to 1212 GBP (which is inclusive of VAT). This was a “haggled-down” price in order to achieve 100% funding. If we are to have a better lunch, we will need to receive more sponsorship, or investigate other forms of revenue. We are, of course, thankful for the food and drink we did receive, and a big thanks go (again) to the sponsors listed earlier in this report.

We have started to think about next year. 

We would like to organise another CI Unconference in Summer 2015, in London (UK). However, I’d like to put together an organisation team, as collectively we can do more than just a single (or couple of) individual(s) organising everything. If you, dear reader, would like to help out, then please let me know. We will also need sponsors, speakers, and on-the-day volunteers. We also need to think about venues. If you can help with any of this, please do email me with CI Unconference UK 2015 in the subject. I will be part of such an organisation team, however, it will become increasingly more important as I am due to finish my PhD in late 2015!

I also have some initial ideas of running CI Unconferences in the USA and elsewhere in Europe. A few of the attendees of the UK 2014 unconference have given me a few suggestions, but I’d like to get some interest from those in USA and Europe, to see if it would be worth doing. If you are interested then please do let me know by sending me an email with CI Unconference USA/Europe in the subject.

Finally, I am keen to find out if there are success stories from the CI Unconference UK 2014. The best way to do this is for attendees (particularly those who hadn’t met before the event) to stay in contact with each other. I would be keen to find out if new projects have been started because of the event. Or, if somebody got a job or a new contract because of the event. Or, perhaps you learnt something which will change the way that you work. Or anything else, personal, academic or professional! Send me an email, or maybe tweet it with the hash-tag #CIUUK14.

To conclude, this years event was incredibly successful, and I look forward to working with you all on making the next one bigger and better.

Daniel Lewis

 

Computational Intelligence Unconference UK 2014 – Announcement

Hi all,

I wanted to let you all know about an event that I am co-organising. Its an unconference (as some of you know I’ve organised unconferences before), on “Computational Intelligence”, in London (UK), on 26th July 2014. If you can be in the area on that date, then pop over to the CI Unconference UK 2014 website and get yourself a ticket. It’ll be an great day, full of wonderful talks and ideas, and lots of interesting people with different experiences.

More details below…

Daniel

Computational Intelligence Unconference UK 2014
BT Centre, London, UK
26th July 2014

Computational Intelligence Unconference UK 2014 is looking for attendees and speakers at the event on 26th July 2014. The unconference will bring people together with similar interests for networking and talks about Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Systems. The unconference will be held at the BT Centre in the St Paul’s area of London, England.

Free tickets and more information are available from the website. Space is limited, so get your free tickets as soon as you can from our website:

http://ciunconference.org/uk/2014/

The event is an “unconference”, which is an informal self-organising meeting with free (ticketed) entry, quite unlike a standard conference. An unconference is attendee-run, if you submit an idea you’ll get a slot in a first-come-first-served-basis timetable to talk about what you like, providing it is relevant to the general topic of Computational Intelligence.

This particular unconference will be suited to those people who use, or have an interest in, Computational Intelligence. Talks will have an element of theory and/or application. Topics include:

  • Fuzzy Set Theory and Fuzzy Logic,
  • Artificial Neural Networks,
  • Evolutionary Computing and Genetic Algorithms,
  • Connectionist Systems,
  • Autonomous Mental Development,
  • Hybrid Intelligent Systems,
  • Artificial General Intelligence,
  • Applications (e.g., Finance, Government, Telecommunications, Security, Open Data, Social Networking)

Organisers:

  • Daniel Lewis, University of Bristol
  • Stephen G Matthews, University of Bristol