Tag Archives: Jason Bradbury

Feel the force of technological innovation at Future Fest 2016

Future Fest will return to the city of Lincoln next month with an extraordinary showcase of space-age technology, pioneering research and futuristic fun.

Jason Bradbury (University of Lincoln)

Tech guru, TV presenter and Visiting Lecturer Jason Bradbury will be the special guest at the University of Lincoln’s annual sci-fi themed festival, which this year takes place on Thursday 10th November 2016.

Inspired by the epic film franchise Star Wars, Future Fest 2016 will offer visitors the chance to immerse themselves in futuristic virtual reality worlds, discover the latest advances in consumer technology, and meet the University’s growing ensemble of cutting-edge robots.

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The event will feature a number of exciting interactive zones. The Robot Zone will demonstrate the very latest in cutting-edge robotics – from 3D-printed humanoids and mind-controlled androids, to tech that will see visitors immersing themselves in extraordinary virtual reality worlds and building their own robots that can compete in a purpose-built arena.

In the Gaming Zone, visitors can head to ‘a galaxy far far away’ with a variety of Star Wars computer games. In the Space Zone they can learn about the technologies which help us understand what is going on 380,000 feet above our heads, and the Movie Maker Zone will reveal how films are brought to life – from concept to screen. The Stage Combat Zone will see visitors unleash their inner Luke Skywalker and learn how the best battles are fought with lightsabers.

Jason Bradbury, best known as presenter of TV’s The Gadget Show and a Visiting Lecturer on Computer Science and Product Design courses at the University of Lincoln, said: “I am so excited to be involved in Future Fest again this year after the great fun we had at last year’s inaugural event. Bringing all this expertise and technology together provides a wonderful opportunity to appreciate just how much scientific innovation has transformed the way we live in a relatively short time, and to examine some of the innovative research which could shape our future.

“Staff and students at Lincoln are working on projects that we could never have imagined 20 years ago, and that is why I am thrilled to be involved. We’re creating the future, right here, right now.”

Future Fest takes place on Thursday 10th November 2016 at the Engine Shed on the University of Lincoln’s Brayford Pool Campus. The event runs from 10am – 4pm. It is free to attend but places must be booked in advance via the University of Lincoln website.

Computer Science Showcase Success

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School of Computer Science students show off their final projects to industry leaders and fellow classmates in an exciting annual showcase event.

A Smart Mirror, a ‘Swords of Turing’ fighting game and chess lessons with a twist played a big part of the day-long event with undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Minerva Building, Atrium.

Senior Lecturer Bruce Hargrave said: “The event was a huge success. We had some great student projects on show throughout the day including postgraduate research, presentations and demo’s and it was great to see some local industry leaders getting involved in the day and giving advice to students too.”

Students created chatbots, games and other artefacts intended to ‘pass’ the Turing Test, under the title ‘Man or Machine? Can You Tell The Difference?’

Computer Science student Keiran Lowe said: “It’s been a really good experience and really valuable, because even though our project is in development, people who try the game have given us responses we might not have thought about. And because we have to programme each response in, we can add their responses to increase the knowledge base.

“It’s been a good event to showcase our project at, but also to test it on what people think.”

Watch Keiran’s project here:

Even Gadget Show presenter and University of Lincoln guest lecturer Jason Bradbury came along to see the projects in action. Jason helped students with ideas, encouraging projects to go further and promoting team work from start to finish.

Organiser Dr Amr Ahmed said: “This is another success and expansion over the last 4 years events. More guests and interests, better projects and demos, all made public in the Atrium for internal and external visitors.

“We are proud of our students achievements and annually organise such events to make opportunities for them to interact with employers and visitors to show their work. The panel find it more and more difficult to choose the winners at the end of the event. And they are looking forward for the next year’s event already. Some job vacancies have already been sent to us, from guests and employers.”

University Vice Chancellor, Professor Mary Stuart enjoyed the day too, adding: “What a wonderful event and so good to see all the work.

Jason Bradbury in two places at once

Who said you can’t be in two places at once?
bradburyTV presenter, tech guru for The Gadget Show and Visiting Lecturer Jason Bradbury showed us how by delivering a virtual lecture for our second year ‘Group Project’ students using new robotic communication technology.
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Using a Double Robotics system, Jason was able to have a physical presence in front of our students, even though he couldn’t be there in person.
He presented his lecture, moved around the room and discussed creative new ideas with students, all from his base in London.“It is so exciting to be living in a time when technology enables you to teach an entire lecture theatre in person, despite being hundreds of miles away. Technological advances are improving our means of communication on a daily basis,” explained Jason. “I’m delighted to be able to deliver virtual lectures at the University of Lincoln as part of what is a very exciting project for the students.”

Jason’s lecture formed part of a module for second year Computer Science students, entitled My AI Ate My Homework. He tasked the students with a challenging new project – to design and develop an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that is capable of passing the Turing Test.

The Turing Test was created by Alan Turing OBE, who was a pioneering computer scientist and mathematician and was instrumental in many technological developments during the 1940s. His work at the Bletchley Park codebreaking centre, where he lead a group to breaking the Enigma code, played a pivotal role in cracking intercepted coded messages that enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis in World War II.

 

The Turing Test is a test of a machine’s ability to give the perception of ‘intelligent behaviour’, or to make itself indistinguishable from a human being. Thus, the student’s project would be to create a system which would make people believe they were interacting with a person, when really they’ve been responding to an AI robot.

Bruce Hargrave, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Lincoln, is leading the module. He said: “Turing proposed that for a machine to pass his test, a human must be unable to tell if he or she was communicating with another human or with a machine. In computer science, the interactions between humans and robots are important areas of study and it is fascinating to explore what it is that distinguishes human behaviour from that of a machine. We are inviting our students to build their own machine with the ability to do just that – appear human.”Suggestions for the type of systems that could be developed by the students include an online agony aunt, a social media communicator, a fortune teller and a fast food ordering service.

The students will submit written proposals before developing their systems, with the aim of exhibiting them in public later in the year.