Public lectures 2022
The Department hosted a number of public lectures during 2022 as part of the 50 Years of Computer Science at York celebrations.
Inaugural Lecture of Radu Calinescu
Professor Radu Calinescu's Inaugural Lecture on 25 May 2022 was entitled "Resilient Autonomous Systems: Vision and Challenges".
"Recent advances in artificial intelligence and robotics promise a future in which autonomous systems will help with societally beneficial tasks that are dangerous, tedious or too costly for humans.
In this talk, I will give examples of such tasks, and explain why delivering them requires autonomous systems that can operate resiliently in the presence of high levels of uncertainty and disruption. I will then argue that the development and operation of resilient autonomous systems pose unprecedented and complex sociotechnical challenges.
Dr Will Smith
Dr Will Smith presented a Public Lecture on 12 October 2022 entitled "The revolution will not be supervised! Teaching computers to see with self-supervised learning".
"Machine learning, in particular a specific branch called "deep learning", has had a transformative effect on many areas of computer science as well as science and industry more generally.
However, the vast majority of machine learning methods require very large datasets annotated with labels that are usually provided by humans, at great cost and effort. This sort of "supervised learning" is unlike how humans learn and may not be possible for tasks where labels are difficult to obtain or data is scarce. In addition, the trained model is a black box. We do not know how it works and it does not take advantage of any prior information we may have about the problem being solved.
Professor John McDermid OBE FREng
Professor John McDermid, Director of the Assuring Autonomy International Programme, presented a lecture on 14 December 2022 entitled "Safe, Ethical and Secure: Robots you can rely on".
"Computer systems and software have been used in safety-critical applications, where their behaviour could impact human health and wellbeing, for at least 50 years.
These uses have evolved from relatively simple applications, e.g. syringe pumps used to deliver medicines, via sophisticated systems supporting humans, e.g. railway signalling and aircraft flying control systems, through to autonomous systems – where computers and software control physical systems without human intervention. Such modern systems include robots in factories and those that can support the elderly in independent living.