The Role of a University in the Future of AI – An Edinburgh View
05 Mar, 2021 (Fri)
5:00 pm
Webinar Link:

Add to your calendar: iCal, Google Calendar

HKU Campus Map


Prof. David Robertson
Head, School of Informatics at Edinburgh
Executive Chair of the UK Computing Research Committee


Artificial Intelligence has been successful in many areas of technology and it also has contributed to development of our national and global communities. In doing so, the AI research community has changed and continues to evolve. At the same time, there has been strong growth in applications of AI, which means that we frequently are asked to explain how foundational research can fuel economic growth and social benefit. What sort of AI research should universities do, now that all major industries are working on AI developments? I will discuss this issue from the perspective of AI at Edinburgh (which has one of thelongest traditions of AI research in the world) and then focus on our data-intensive healthcare research as an example of translating AI into applications, drawing on my involvement in Health Data Research UK. If time allows, I will also discuss the role of formal methods in AI (using healthcare as an example).


About the speaker:

David Robertson is Chair of Applied Logic, Vice Principal and Head of College of Science & Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. Prior to this he was Head of School of Informatics at Edinburgh, which isthe largest UK computing science department in the UK in terms of research power. His computing research is on Artificial Intelligence, specialising in formal methods for coordination and knowledge sharing between (human/artificial) agents in distributed systems where a high degree of autonomy is expected in the components of the underlying system. This is one of the enablers for AI at large scale. Methods from his group have been applied to astronomy, simulation of consumer behaviour, emergency response and healthcare. He was a member of the Farr Institute for medical data sharing and was co-director of the Centre for Medical Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. He is currently Director of the Scottish node of Health Data Research UK. He chaired the executive of the UK Computing Research Committee (the expert panel of the British Computer Society and the Institution of Engineering and Technology) and has served on strategic advisory groups for the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Medical Research Council and Innovate UK. He is a member of the governance board for the Scottish Innovation Centre in Data Science and he was on the supervisory board for EIT Digital.


Prof. Victor OK Li
Director, HKU-Cambridge AI-WiSe
Dr. Jacqueline CK Lam,
Co-Director, HKU-Cambridge AI-WiSe

Most seminars are open to the general public, free of charge, unless otherwise stated. Registration is not required. Arrangement for car parking facilities on campus please contact us for details.

For enquiries, please contact:
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering,
Room 601, Chow Yei Ching Building,
Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 3917 7093