RCA talks

School of Design Lecture: Imitating Human Behaviour with Brain-inspired Artificial Intelligence

22 November 2017 | 6pm

Kensington, Lecture Theatre 1

A behaviour-inspired take and beyond Dr Anastasia Sylaidi

The first part of this talk provides an introduction into the scientific and technological cornerstones of the Artificial Intelligence momentum as the latter is currently unfolding. It highlights a dominant distinction of modern approaches employed to simulate biological intelligence (i) into behaviour-inspired and (ii) neuro-inspired. An emphasis will be placed on presenting aspects of behaviour-inspired research, which advances our understanding of human sensorimotor control and learning tasks, of planning and object manipulation skills, thereby illustrating a path, which also informs the design of efficient Brain Machine Interfaces and rehabilitation systems. Beyond this direction, a broader spectrum of AI-based applications will be presented and discussed, along with an attempt to draw a map of AI implications in contemporary and future life.

Dr Anastasia Sylaidi is a computational neuroscientist and entrepreneur. She completed her PhD at the Brain and Behavior Lab of the Bioengineering Department at Imperial College London and is currently a post-doctoral researcher in Computational Neuroscience at the Computing Department of ICL. Her work focuses on developing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning approaches to sensorimotor functions, suitable for (i) integration in contemporary Brain Machine Interfaces, (ii) supporting neurotechnology and motor rehabilitation platforms, and (iii) extracting biomarkers for diagnosing and managing neurodegenerative diseases, such as Friedreich’s ataxia. Before London, she was based at the Institute of Neuroinformatics of ETH, Zurich, where she completed her MSc studies and worked on deciphering computational properties of the visual processing system. At the side of academia, she has previously co-founded two tech initiatives (PriceFare, Synthsense) and as of 2016 is Director at Spike.AI, a start-up fostering AI-driven innovation consulting and disruptive product development in healthcare, insurance and retailing.

A neuro-inspired take and beyond Dr Zafeirios Fountas

Following up on the behaviour-inspired take of the first talk, the second talk will address the potential of A.I. from the perspective of brain-inspired computing with a focus on biologically-plausible neural systems. Through a number of academic and industrial paradigms, including applications in video games and home companion robots, it will introduce the challenges, benefits and current state-of-the-art towards making intelligent systems indistinguishable from humans. Finally, the talk will take a complementary path to further the dialogue on AI implications on modern life.

Dr Zafeirios Fountas is a mathematician/computer scientist with a passion for neuroscience, biologically inspired A.I. and cognitive robotics. Currently, he works as a researcher in the Department of Computing of Imperial College London investigating the neural correlates of human time perception. Additionally, he works at Emotech LTD, where he is building the A.I. system of the personal robot Olly. He received his PhD in computational neuroscience from Imperial College, where he focused on the relation between brain oscillations, our ability to select between multiple prospective actions and motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.