Robot Futures: beyond the valley
Thursday, December 1, 2011 from 4:00 PM to 8:30 PM (GMT)
What is a robot? Is it a piece of hardware? Is it software? Is it both? Is it supposed to look like us? Are spambots robots?
Lirec, an EU-funded project exploring how we might live with robot companions, invites you to a demo & panel exploring the definition of robots in the world of industry and research.
The event will start with a private view and showcase of 3 Lirec robots at the Science Museum (part of the upcoming RobotVille exhibition) followed by a panel discussion at the Royal Geographical Society just up the road.
This discussion will be chaired by Olivia Solon, Associate Editor of Wired.co.uk and feature 4 panelists from academia & industry alike: Peter McOwen (LIREC), Ghislaine Boddington (body/data/space), Dr Dan O'Hara (Weavrs), Matt Jones (BERG).
16h00: Meet outside the Science Museum
16h10: Demo of Lirec Robots (Flash, Charly, Pleo & emotions recognition system)
17h30: Move to Royal Geographical Society
18h00: Drinks & nibbles
18h30: Start of panel discussion
20h30: End of event.
Bios of panelists:
Olivia Solon is a writer and editor specialising in technology, science, startups and digital culture. Currently Associate Editor of Wired.co.uk , she has also had work published in Metro, The Telegraph, Marketing Week, Music Week, and Frukt Source. Prior to working at Wired, she spent five years as a business journalist focusing on the media and marketing industries, with roles at Media Week, Media & Marketing and Cream.
Peter McOwan is currently a Professor of Computer Science in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary, University of London. His research interests are in visual perception, mathematical models for visual processing, in particular motion, cognitive science and biologically inspired hardware and software. He has authored more than 90 papers in these areas. He recently served on the Program Committee for ACII2009, CVPR 2009 and IEEE Artificial Life and is a member of the editorial board of the Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces. Current research projects include LIREC, an EU FP7 IP, developing long term synthetic companions, an EPSRC programme grant CHI+MED investigating design to reduce human errors in medical software and an EPSRC PPE CS4fn, an outreach project to enthuse schools about computer science research. He was also elected a National Teaching Fellow by the Higher Education Academy in 2008 and was awarded the 2011 IET Mountbatten Medal for his work in promoting Computer Science to diverse audiences.
Ghislaine is an artist, dramaturg, curator and thought leader involved in the integration of body responsive technologies and virtual/physical blended worlds since the early 1990’s. She has directed and curated numerous events, workshops and symposia on cultural identity and inter-authorship throughout East/West Europe, the US and Asia. As co-founder of pioneer digital arts collectives shinkansen and Future Physical (1989-2004) she co-produced 400 commissions, curations and events, now archived at British Library. She co-founded body>data>space in 2005 with architect Armand Terruli. Her present work involves the direction of the EU Culture Programme Robots and Avatars involving commissioning new robotic and avatar work with the National Theatre, an exhibition and integrated activities opening at FACT in Liverpool at the end of March 2012 and a European tour.
Dr Dan O'Hara
O’Hara is a philosopher and literary critic who is Lecturer in English
and American Literature at the University of Cologne, and Head of Research and
Development at Philter Phactory. He was editor of Thomas Pynchon: Schizophrenia & Social Control, and the ongoing Concordance to the Works of Deleuze
and Guattari; and he was organizer of the legendary cyberphilosophy Virtual Futures conferences in the mid-1990s. His next book Extreme Metaphors:
Selected Interviews with J. G. Ballard, 1967–2006, co-edited with Simon Sellars (London: Fourth Estate, 2012) is part of a wide-ranging collaborative project encompassing a number of works both by and about Ballard, monographs, and collections. His most recently published literary criticism deals mainly with Ballard, Samuel Beckett, trauma, irony, and apocalypse; his current philosophical research, and forthcoming monograph, deals with the concept of skeuomorphism as a theory of nonhuman agency in the evolution of objects and ideas. He currently lives in Rio de Janeiro.
Matt is a Principal at BERG and has been delivering digital products and services since 1995. He was creative director for the launch version of the BAFTA award-winning BBC News Online. Between 2003-2005 he worked at Nokia on areas as diverse as RFID/NFC applications of tangible/physical interfaces and the human universal experience of play. From 2005-2007 he was director of user-experience design for Nokia’s Nseries range within Nokia Design. In early 2007 he co-founded and designed Dopplr.com, which grew into an influential and popular start-up travel service, before being sold to Nokia in the autumn of 2009.
He studied Architecture, qualifying in 1995 RIBA Part II and BArch from the Welsh School of Architecture. He has spoken at events such as Reboot, Ars Electronica, Webstock, O’Reilly’s Etech and FooCamp; is a visiting tutor on the Design Interactions course at the Royal College of Art and has written on interaction design, comic books and planetary-scale, self-replicating robot dogs for 10 years at http://www.magicalnihilism.com.
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