BCS Specialist Group on Artificial Intelligence have had a very successful year of conferences

In October the Artificial Intelligence Specialist Group's machine intelligence competition saw a high calibre of live demonstrations that show progress towards machine intelligence. We were thrilled to have Lincoln University present their Chatty Robot: A Humanoid Robot With “Chatting While Playing” Skills.

But the best as always is their annual conference held at Peterhouse Cambridge, their 39th International Conference on Innovative techniques and applications of AI from 16 - 19 December. https://www.pet.cam.ac.uk/

The week in Cambridge starts with the student day called Fairs.  Fair’s 19 helps support AI research students who are at various stages of their PhD’s.  Over 30 students attended.

The main conference starts on Tuesday, and with such an interest in AI, we saw over 115 delegates pass through our doors from all over the world.  I have been coordinating this event for the past seven years, and it’s always wonderful to see the support for this group, a special mention to Dr Henry Lau who hails from Hong Kong and makes the trip every December to support BCS AI.

Tuesday consists of a full day of technical and application workshops till 18:30 where the delegates are then invited to a welcome reception.   

Wednesday’s lectures consisted of all the best papers that were published in the proceedings along with the Technical Keynote Lecture presented this year by Prof. Marc Cavazza (University of Greenwich) speaking on The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Non-admissible Search.

At 20:00 the annual gala dinner took place in Peterhouse’s magnificent hall,  Harry Potter-style where staff at Peterhouse outperformed themselves once again.

At the dinner, our four winners for the best papers were honoured to be seated at the top table along with our past BCS President Chris Rees who gave the after-dinner speech.

The winners were:

Best Refereed Technical Paper
CascadeML: An Automatic Neural Network Architecture Evolution and Training Algorithm for Multi-label Classification
A. Pakrashi (University College Dublin, Ireland)

Application Stream - best paper
Evolving Prediction Models with Genetic Algorithm to Forecast Vehicle Volume in a Service Station. Himadri Sekhar Khargharia (EBTIC, Khalifa University, UAE)

Best student paper in the Technical Stream
Purity Filtering: An Instance Selection Method for Support Vector Machines, David Morán-Pomés (Technical University of Catalonia, Spain)

Best student paper in the Application Stream
eveloping a Catalogue of Explainability Methods to Support Expert and Non-Expert Users, Kyle Martin (Robert Gordon University, UK)

The final day of the conference saw the Technical  Keynote Lecture presented by James Chappell (Digital Shadows) on Analytical Techniques for Detecting Digital Risks: a Practical Case Study and all the posters presented by the various delegates.

Past BCS President, Mr Chris Rees enjoying the poster competition. 

chris rees


After a long week and year, the Community Team, Mandy Bauer and Sallyann Cossey, were happy to return home and enjoy a much-needed Christmas break.

Watch this space as our BCS AI specialist group will be celebrating its 40th annual AI conference in 2020.