Computational Intelligence Unconference UK 2015

15th August 2015 // Strand Campus, King's College, London, UK


The following is a list of our speakers, they are all providing their services for free, and so a big thank you to them all. Details for when the speakers are on during the day can be found on the timetable page.

If you would like to give a 5 minute lightning talk and want to know more information, then please contact us on: Lightning talks will take place in the free-flow times in the seminar room.

Rohit Talwar (Profile Picture)

Rohit Talwar

Fast Future

Rohit is a global futurist who helps audiences make sense of and respond to a constantly changing reality and a hyper connected world. He helps clients understand how to respond to the forces and ideas shaping the future, deliver transformational change and create imaginative new strategies and possibilities. Rohit is the founder and CEO of Fast Future Research - providing consultancy, transformational futures experiences, foresight research and keynote speeches to leading corporations, governments, associations and NGOs around the world.

His interests include the evolving role of technology in business and society, the future of emerging economies and industries, the future of education and embedding foresight in organisations. Rohit is currently leading research projects on major drivers of change for the next decade, practical strategies for delivering sustainable organisational transformation, human enhancement and the Shadow Economy.

Rohit will be a keynote speaker for the unconference. He will set the scene for the discussions of the day, with perspectives in the future of society and business.

Murray Shanahan (Profile Picture)

Murray Shanahan

Professor of Cognitive Robotics, Imperial College London

Murray Shanahan is Professor of Cognitive Robotics in the Dept. of Computing at Imperial College London, where he heads the Neurodynamics Group. He gained his PhD in computer science from Cambridge University in 1988. He took up a lectureship at Imperial College in 1998, where he became full professor in 2006. His publications span artificial intelligence, robotics, logic, dynamical systems, computational neuroscience, and philosophy of mind. His work up to 2000 was in the tradition of classical, symbolic AI, but since then has concerned brain-inspired cognitive architectures, neurodynamics, and consciousness. His book “Embodiment and the Inner Life” was published by OUP in 2010, and his recently completed book “The Technological Singularity” will be published by MIT Press in 2015.

The talk by Murray: The Future of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is currently a hot topic. In the past year or so it has been the subject of several movies, and has received substantial industrial investment. At the same time, a number of prominent thinkers have issued grave warnings of its existential threat to humanity. Is artificial intelligence all hype? Or is it really a transformative technology? And should we be afraid? In this talk I will go beyond the media soundbites and discuss some of the real technological and philosophical challenges of AI.

Blaise Thomson (Profile Picture)

Blaise Thomson

CEO & Co-founder, VocalIQ

Blaise is the co-founder and CEO at VocalIQ which is developing a self-learning conversational dialogue platform.

Over the last 10 years Blaise has been dedicated to getting machines to have an intelligent conversation with humans; first for a Ph.D. and then as a Research Fellow at St John's College Cambridge, publishing over 40 international papers in the process and winning multiple research awards. The result of this research forms the core technology of VocalIQ which enables multi-domain speech-dialog-systems (SDS); a key enabler needed for the success of the Internet of Things.

The talk by Blaise: Machine learning for spoken dialogue systems

"In this talk I will provide an overview of some of the issues and techniques involved in making a system interact with spoken language. With the advent of ‘smart’ devices and the ‘internet of things’, voice is becoming an integral part of the interface we use to work with our machines. Voice interaction poses major problems for a system, with limited confidence in speech recognition results, uncertainty in the meaning of phrases and a multitude of possible responses for each possible input. A key question in all this is then: How much can machine learning enable a system that learns to have a conversation?"

This talk is brought to you by the London Machine Learning Meetup

James Ravenscroft (Profile Picture)

James Ravenscroft

Developer of the Partridge Project & Software Engineer at IBM

James is a software engineer and data scientist who graduated with a first class honours BSc in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics from Aberystwyth University in 2013. James currently works as a software engineer at IBM. As of autumn 2015, James is pursuing a PhD in natural language processing along side his day job working with the Watson analytics family of products. As part of his BSc, James developed Partridge, an open source tool for automated information extraction from scientific literature. The idea behind the project is to simplify the problem of scientific "information overload," caused by the thousands of new articles published every year, by allowing researchers to quickly and intuitively find scientific literature relevant to their field of interest. Partridge was presented at BCS AI conference in 2013 and was very well received - winning an award for being one of 3 top contributions in the conference's application stream.

The talk by James

In his talk, James will talk about how Partridge was developed and briefly discuss some of the machine learning and language processing techniques used in the project. He'll also explain how researchers can start using Partridge to help them organise their literature and give a quick preview of some of the planned developments for the Partridge Project.

Anthony Lerma, Peter Ehrlich & Martin Schubert

Leap Motion

Leap Motion employees Peter Ehrlich, Martin Schubert, and Anthony Lerma discuss the current state of Leap Motion, VR, and how it's been used for data visualization.

Anthony Lerma, jack of all trades, master of none, is a Developer Programs Manager at Leap Motion. He's excited to see what the future of VR UI and UX will bring in the next five years. The current trajectory of wearables sends him into a technophobic paralysis, but he remains hopeful. Talk to him about the Leap Motion 3D Jam.

Peter Ehrlich, core maintainer of Leap Motion's Javascript library, will speak on emerging best practices for building the 3D web. Peter will delve into the basics of building interactions with the Leap Motion Javascript API.

Designer/Developer Martin Schubert builds VR experiences as a member of Leap Motion's Developer Programs team. His VR application WEIGHTLESS placed second in Leap Motion’s 2014 3D Jam. Martin's always up for a discussion on designing motion control for VR and beyond.

Leap Motion are CIUUK15 Project Partners. There will be a raffle (tickets are £1 for 1, or £5 for a strip of 5), to win a Leap Motion device! THERE ARE 10 DEVICES TO WIN! The raffle will take place at 1:20pm in the Hall (during lunch). Why not buy a strip of 5 and have a higher chance of winning? All proceeds go to the Computational Intelligence Unconferences Association (a UK Non-Profit Unincorporated Association), to pay for venue & catering costs.

David Beeton (Profile Picture)

David Beeton

Managing Director, Urban Foresight

Dr. David Beeton is Managing Director of Urban Foresight, a consulting think tank focused on future cities. David is a recognised expert in strategies and policies to promote widespread adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles and the development of smart and sustainable cities. He leads global projects for the International Energy Agency (IA-HEV) on e-mobility business models and electric vehicle ecosystems, and is also Director of E-cosse, a Scottish Government funded public-private partnership to advance plug-in vehicle adoption in Scotland.

David holds two Masters degrees in Engineering, an Executive MBA and was awarded a PhD from the University of Cambridge for his work to pioneer new roadmapping techniques for industry foresight.

The talk by David: 50 BIG Ideas Shaping the Future of Electric Mobility

The presentation will give a global perspective on the future of electric mobility and cite examples of some world changing big ideas that are being pioneered around the world. This draws on Urban Foresight's recently published EV City Casebook.

Hari Ponniah (Profile Picture)

Rajesh Bhardwaj

AppShed & Red C

Rajesh Bhardwaj is a freelance Product Manager with a specialism in mobile Apps. Rajesh (in partnership with Digital Agency Red C) has managed 13 mobile apps from idea to App store launch including a pioneering iPad sales presenter for Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Biosense Webster and an independent FinTech app called FinGo. His current area of entrepreneurship focuses on IoT (internet of things) Apps that facilitate increased Citizen participation in City wide social initiatives. The first area of work is based on the theme 'Water & Resilient Cities'.

The talk by Rajesh: IoT, Cities and Appshed - an interactive talk

In this half hour interactive demonstration we as an Audience will collaboratively build a simple IoT app using the Appshed platform. Appshed is an open source platform which enables everyone to express their ideas as 'connected' mobile apps. Once you have learned the core skills covered in the demonstration all members of the audience can use Appshed to build any number of 'connected' Apps.

Marcelo Funes-Gallanzi (Profile Picture)

Marcelo Funes-Gallanzi

Head of the artificial cognition systems effort at The Goodwill Consortium

After graduating with a PhD in optical diagnostics techniques for turbomachinery at Warwick University and a brief spell at the Optical Engineering Laboratory in Warwick, Marcelo obtained a fellowship from the Royal Society for a six-months visit to the Optical Research centre in Mexico and liked it so much he decided to split his time between Mexico and the UK, which he continues to do until now. He currently leads the joint effort to develop an artificial cognition system that has so far been implemented in a conversational agent powered by a general cognition engine capable of understanding natural language, regardless of the specific wording or grammar used. It also has a limited reasoning capability using multivariate first order logic implemented using the "E" theorem prover developed by the TUM in Munich, and can be seen evolving at Other projects currently under development include an Android app to obtain 3D models from video/photographs (, an English simplifying and summarizing tool ( and a non-ITAR 3D night vision camera for security applications. His hobbies, when allowed by his three children, include economics, history, travelling and he keeps fit by swimming... nowhere as much as he should!

Dr. Leandro L. Minku (Profile Picture)

Dr. Leandro L. Minku

Research Fellow II - CERCIA, University of Birmingham

Leandro L. Minku is a Research Fellow II at the School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham (UK), and is taking a lecturer position at the University of Leicester (UK) in September 2015. He received the PhD, MSc and BSc degrees in Computer Science from the University of Birmingham (UK) in 2010, Federal University of Pernambuco (Brazil) in 2006, and Federal University of Parana (Brazil) in 2003, respectively. He was an intern at Google Zurich for six months in 2009/2010, the recipient of the Overseas Research Students Award (ORSAS) from the British government, and of several scholarships from the Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). Among others, he serves as the chair for the Webinars Committee of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, PC chair for the International Conference on Predictive Models and Data Analytics in Software Engineering (PROMISE'15), and co-chair for the challenge track of the Symposium on Search-Based Software Engineering (SSBSE'15). Dr. Minku's main research interests are machine learning in non-stationary environments, ensembles of learning machines, software prediction models and search-based software engineering. His work has been published in internationally renowned journals such as IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering and ACM Transactions on Software Engineering.

The talk by Leandro: Artificial Intelligence for Software Engineering

Due to the increased size and complexity of software systems, software engineering tasks such as software effort estimation, software project scheduling, software defect prediction and software testing have become increasingly error prone and time consuming. In order to produce higher quality software faster, artificial intelligence techniques can be used as decision support tools when performing software engineering tasks. In this talk, I will briefly explain the problems of software effort estimation and software project scheduling, and how artificial intelligence techniques such as ensembles of learning machines and evolutionary algorithms can be used for solving these problems.

Peter Morgan (Profile Picture)

Peter Morgan

CEO of Zepto Ventures

As a published author and computer science industry veteran with over twenty years’ experience, Peter works at the intersection of nano, neuro and info technologies (atoms, neurons and bits). Before entering the computer industry he solved high energy physics problems while enrolled in the PhD program in physics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. After leaving academia Peter initially worked as a Systems Engineer at companies such as IBM, Cisco Systems and British Telecom. After getting his MBA and dabbling in financial trading algorithms, Peter returned to physics working as a Research Associate on an experiment lead by Stanford University to measure the mass of the neutrino. Returning to London from the United States, he has been engaged in the data science industry for the past three years where he has been teaching and using various machine learning, neural nets and other algorithms that are used to extract insight and meaningful information from commercial, government and academic data. As well as working with various data science startups and the UCL, Peter has recently started his own company, Zepto Ventures, connecting startups with angel funding and venture capital. Zepto Ventures provides leadership and governance in all aspects of business development including finance, funding, competitive analysis, market research, business structure, intellectual property, patents and technology development in the fields of data analytics and machine intelligence.

The talk by Peter: The Future of Machine Learning

Machine learning is embedded in hundreds of everyday consumer and business products and services from search to image and speech recognition. In this talk he will give a brief overview of what machine learning is, where it came from and where it might take us in the near, medium and far term - two, five and ten years, respectively. He will cover the positive changes it will bring, plus the risks and issues that may result from the widespread adoption of this technology.

Peter can be found on LinkedIn

Pam Yoder (Profile Picture)

Pam Yoder, MD, PhD

Digital Disruptors Doctor

Pam is a cognitive neuroscientist, behavioral psychologist and physician. She also has served as a physician executive; faculty member in OBGYN, women's health and imaging; care provider and counselor on genomics, behavioral genetics, preconceptional and prenatal diagnosis to countless families. As a member of the "sandwich" caregiver generation, she helped DNA relatives prevent brain injury and maintain peak cognitive function across the lifespan. Though she received her graduate training working with challenged children, parents and teachers, she most recently focused on the health span and longevity of the Greatest Generation.Her approach includes obtaining multigenerational data from biomarkers and traditional tests, imaging and interventions, nutrition and exercise. Her tools include virtual consultations for preventive health and wellness, telemedicine, sensors, wearables, neurogaming, mixed and VR in health education and caregiving.

The talk by Pam: Cognitive Neuroscience, focusing on use of tech ed and neurogaming

Pam will also moderate the Q&A discussion for the future of health / medicine stream.

Hari Ponniah (Profile Picture)

Hari Ponniah

Founder & CEO, The SelfCare People

Hari has over 16 years of experience in the IT industry. He holds a Bachelor of Science and Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration. He started his career as a Trainee Software developer and held positions such as Software Designer, Technical Architect and Lead Solutions Architect. He had the opportunity to work with Start-ups very early on in his career as well big corporations like IBM, Accenture, Vodafone, Telefonica, Tata Communications. This gave him the opportunity to learn the skills needed to convert ideas into technical reality. He has provided solutions for complex problems in the IT and Telecommunications industry for clients from the Americas to Australasia. He has experience working with multi-national product & services companies from the US and Europe as a Solutions Architect. He has lived and travelled across different continents and is currently based in Berkshire, England.

Living with Type 2 Diabetes very early-on in his life inspired Hari to establish The SelfCare People. He strongly believes that technology can enable everyone to ASSESS the health risks, EDUCATE about the health conditions, MONITOR the health risks and get SUPPORT from the wider community to prevent and manage long-term illnesses like Diabetes, Hypertension, etc, and take ownership of their own health and wellness.

Hari is the Founder and CEO of The SelfCare People, a company that uses Big data and Real-time Analytics to continuously score and monitor health risks by aggregating data from different sources such as wearable, medical devices, mobile health apps, EHR/PHR systems.

Pam Yoder (Profile Picture)

Dr Yonghong Peng

Senior Lecturer, University of Bradford

Dr. Yonghong Peng is a Principal Investigator in Big Data Science and Technology (BDST) and Bio-Medical Informatics (BMI) at the University of Bradford, United Kingdom. Dr Peng is the Chair for Big Data Task Force (BDTF) of IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (IEEE CIS), and a member of Data Mining and Big Data Analytics Technical Committee of IEEE CIS. He is also a founding member of Technical SubCommittee on Big Data (TSCBD) of IEEE Communications Society, and a member of Big Data Task Force of China Information Industry Association (CIIA). Dr Peng is currently acting as an associate editor for IEEE Transaction on Big Data, a member of editorial board of International Journal of Big Data Intelligence, and an academic editor of PeerJ and PeerJ Computer Science.

The talk by Yonghong: Big Data in Healthcare

In the big data era, real world evidence and the associated actionable insight is becoming the main driving force for the innovation of healthcare. This talk will discuss the role of big data in healthcare focusing on the personalized medicine and healthcare, the framework of data-driven healthcare, and addresses how big data analytics can help to gain insight from the integration of big data.