Use our registration form to request the joining instructions for upcoming seminars.

Please ensure you register by 12:00 GMT on the day of the seminar.


Upcoming Events

Resilience Talk 16 - 17 January 2022, 15:00-16:00 GMT

Towards Self-Aware Artificial Intelligence –  Lessons Learned from Optimal Estimation Theory

Nidhal Bouaynaya, Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rowan University, USA

Deep neural networks (DNNs) have surpassed human-level accuracy in various fields, holding the promise of emerging technologies, such as self-driving cars and autonomous unmanned aircraft systems, smart cities infrastructure, personalized treatment in medicine, and cybersecurity. However, unlike Humans who have a natural cognitive intuition for probabilities, DNN systems - being inherently deterministic - are unable to evaluate their confidence in the decisions. To truly deserve its name, an artificial intelligence system must be aware of its

limitations and have the capacity for insightful introspection.  

This talk will advance Bayesian deep learning methods that are able to quantify their uncertainty in the decision and self-assess their performance, are robust to adversarial attacks, and can even expose an attack from ambient noise. This talk will establish the theoretical and algorithmic foundations of uncertainty or belief propagation through complex deep learning models by adopting powerful frameworks from optimal estimation problems in non-linear and non-Gaussian dynamical systems.  

The challenge in DNNs is the multi-layer stages of non-linearities in deep learning models, which makes propagation of high-dimensional distributions mathematically intractable. Drawing upon powerful statistical frameworks for density propagation in non-linear and non-

Gaussian dynamical systems, we introduce Tensor Normal distributions as priors over the network parameters and derive a first-order Taylor series mean-covariance propagation framework. We subsequently extend this first-order approximation to an unscented framework that propagates sigma points through the model layers. The unscented framework is shown to be accurate to at least the second-order approximation of the posterior distribution. We finally learn the entire predictive distribution using Particle Filtering, a powerful class of numerical methods for the solution of optimal estimation problems in non-linear, non-Gaussian systems. The uncertainty in the output decision is given by the propagated covariance of the predictive distribution. Furthermore, we show that the proposed framework performs an automatic logit squeezing, which leads to significantly enhanced robustness against noise and adversarial attacks. Experimental results on benchmark datasets, including MNIST, CIFAR-10, real-world synthetic aperture radar (SAR), and Brain tumor segmentation (BraTS 2015), demonstrate: 1) superior robustness against Gaussian noise and adversarial attacks; 2) self-assessment through predictive confidence that monotonically decreases with increasing levels of ambient noise or attack; and 3) an ability to detect a targeted attack from ambient noise.

Resilience Talk 17 - 31 January 2022, 15:00-16:00 GMT (still TBC)

Title: TBC


Resilience Talk 18 - 14 February 2022, 15:00-16:00 GMT

Title: TBC

Robert Skilton, Head of Research, RACE, UK Atomic Energy Authority

Resilience Talk 19 - 28 February 2022, 15:00-16:00 GMT

Title: TBC

Gopal Ramchurn, Professor of Artificial Intelligence, University of Southampton, UK


Upcoming TAS Hub Events

TAS Hub Doctoral Training Network Seminars

Find out more to join the DTN seminars

TAS Node in Governance and Regulation Seminars

TAS Node in Security Seminars


Past Events

Resilience Talk 1 - Monday 01 February 2021, 15:00-16:00 GMT

The scope of autonomy in autonomous systems and ethics of decisions: a user-interacting perspective

Paola Inverardi, University of L'Aquila, Italy

Autonomous systems make decisions independently or on behalf of the user. This will happen more and more in the future, with the widespread use of AI technologies in the fabric of the society that impacts on the social, economic and political sphere. Automatizing services and processes inevitably impacts on the user’s prerogatives and puts at danger their autonomy and privacy. From a societal point of view It is therefore crucial to understand which is the space of autonomy that a system can exercise without compromising laws and human rights.

In this talk I will try to dig into this challenge by making use of philosophical proposals concerning ethics in the digital societies and software engineering design methodologies. In particular I will cast the problem of designing the scope of decisions of an autonomous system in the setting of architectural design where autonomous systems interact within a society, characterized by collective ethical values, with multiple and diverse users, each of them characterized by her individual moral preferences.

Resilience Talk 2 - Monday 15 February 2021, 16:00-17:00 GMT

Learning About the Change: An Adaptive Approach to Active Learning

Mohammad Reza Mousavi, University of Leicester, UK

Active automata learning is a technique to learn behavioural models from black-box systems. Variability and evolution is inherent to much of the modern autonomous systems and hence, new sorts of active learning techniques are needed to learn about variability-intensive and evolving systems. In this talk, we first present the basic principles of active learning and then report on two novel techniques for learning variability-annotated models as well as efficient learning for evolving systems by identifying the commonalities and differences in the learning process.

Based on joint work with Diego Damasceno (Radboud University Nijmegen, NL) and Adenilso Simao (University of Sao Paolo, BR): ;

Resilience Talk 3 - Monday 1 March 2021, 15:00-16:00 GMT

Uncertainty in self-adaptive systems: How far have we come?

Danny Weyns, KU Leuven, Belgium

About a decade ago, the awareness grew that uncertainty is a key challenge for research in self-adaptive software systems. This talk looks at what we have achieved in this period and at the challenges ahead. I start by examining the knowledge we have obtained on handling uncertainty and illustrate that with one characteristic approach. Then, I will zoom in on the perceptions we have today on the notion of uncertainty in self-adaptive systems. Finally, I will peek into the future and present a viewpoint on how we may be able to push the boundaries in the ability of self-adaptive systems to handle uncertainty that originates from unanticipated changes.

Resilience Talk 4 - Monday 15 March 2021, 15:00-16:00 GMT

A journey through research in Informatics, publication, and evaluation

Carlo Ghezzi, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

The talk is about research in Informatics (aka, Computer Science, Computing, ICT). It presents a few general principles and sheds light on what is specific of the field.

It focuses on two crucial aspects of research: publication -- how research results are disclosed to the world -- and evaluation -- how (and why) research and researchers are evaluated.

The talk is based on the book by the author titled "Being a Researcher-an Informatics Perspective", published in 2020 by Springer.

Resilience Talk 5 - Monday 29 March 2021, 15:00-16:00 BST

Towards Operational Cyber Resilience

Kerstin Eder, University of Bristol, UK

Existing approaches to cyber security in the automotive sector are not fit to deliver the resilience required for safe mass deployment of advanced driving features and smart mobility services. In this seminar I will introduce an innovative multi-directional approach to operational cyber resilience, the CyRES methodology, which aims to enable the delivery of robust and resilient engineering practices in this sector from design, via manufacture to operation. CyRES is based on three principles: increasing the probability of Detection, Understanding and Acting on Cyber Events; increasing the number of Engineered Significant Differences; and invoking a continuum of Proactive Updates. I will motivate and explain these principles on examples, focusing mainly on the first two. CyRES is an exciting opportunity for engineers and computer scientists to re-target widely studied, mature methods, such as those developed by the self-adaptive systems community, for cyber security. The aim of this seminar is to raise awareness of the challenges and to highlight some of the ways for attendees to contribute to realise the CyRES vision.

This seminar covers research conducted jointly with Carsten Maple, WMG, University of Warwick, Peter Davies, Thales, UK, Chris Hankin, Imperial College London, Greg Chance, Trustworthy Systems Lab, University of Bristol and Gregory Ephiphaniou, WMG, University of Warwick as part of the Cyber Resilience in Connected and Autonomous Mobility project ResiCAV.

Resilience Talk 6 - Monday 12 April 2021, 15:00-16:00 BST

Learning to Communicate in Multi-Agent Systems

Amanda Prorok, University of Cambridge, UK

Effective communication is key to successful multi-agent coordination. Yet it is far from obvious what, how and when information needs to be shared among agents that aim to solve cooperative tasks. In this talk, I discuss our recent work on using Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) to solve multi-agent coordination problems. In my first case-study, I show how we use GNNs to find a decentralized solution to the multi-agent path finding problem, which is known to be NP-hard. I demonstrate how our policy is able to achieve near-optimal performance, at a fraction of the real-time computational cost. Secondly, I show how GNN-based reinforcement learning can be leveraged to learn inter-agent communication policies. In this case-study, I demonstrate how non-shared optimization objectives can lead to adversarial communication strategies. Finally, I address the challenge of learning robust communication policies, enabling a multi-agent system to maintain high performance in the presence of anonymous non-cooperative agents that communicate faulty, misleading or manipulative information.

Resilience Talk 7 - Monday 26 April 2021, 16:00-17:00 BST

Challenges and Opportunities in Robotic Space Exploration

John Day, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA

Resilience Talk 8 - Monday 10 May 2021, 15:00-16:00 BST

Interdisciplinary Approaches to understanding data and AI ethics from JUST AI: Joining Up Society and Technology for AI

Alison Powell, Imre Bard and Louise Hickman, London School of Economics and Political Science

As AI and other data-intensive technologies appear to sink into the background, questions of their ethics extend in all directions. No longer do ethical concerns extend only to questions about the principles which ought to guide the development of AI systems, nor the ethical quality of outcomes generated through the use of AI systems, this now also encompasses the practice of ethics within the contexts where AI works. These fields are changing fast, growing in range, depth and influence in the UK and across the world.

The JUST AI project has been working to create interdisciplinary strategies for representing and intervening in this field. Some of our core research questions concern how ethics is defined, understood and practiced and what dynamics influence the inclusion, exclusion or marginalization of particular ideas about ethics.

In this seminar members of the JUST AI team will discuss our interdisciplinary work mapping, understanding and intervening in the definitions and relationships defining AI and data ethics in the UK. We will discuss the challenges of using bibliometrics, data visualizations and surveys to understand these dynamic changes as well as share insights gained from our most recent phase of research.

Resilience Talk 9 - Monday 24 May 2021, 15:00-16:00 BST

Human Factors / Ergonomics (HF/E) of AI in Healthcare

Mark Sujan, University of Warwick and Human Factors Everywhere, UK

There is a rapidly growing number of publications, reports and other documents in the area of AI in healthcare. However, the focus in many of these publications is technology-centric, i.e. they address issues around data and performance of algorithms. In practice, AI applications will almost always be part of a wider clinical system, and taking this systems perspective enables us to consider important HF/E aspects that require much more attention.

In this presentation I will discuss such HF/E considerations, which arise from the interaction of people with the AI, such as user workload, trust and satisfaction, and patient safety. I will draw upon examples and insights generated by two demonstrator projects funded by the Assuring Autonomy International Programme: (1) The SAM project, which was concerned with the use of autonomous infusion pumps in intensive care; (2) the ASSIST project, which looks at the use of AI to support ambulance service call handlers in the recognition of cardiac arrest.

Resilience Talk 10 - Monday 7 June 2021, 15:00-16:00 BST

Responsible Robotics - from (ethical) principles to practice

Alan Winfield , University of the West of England, Bristol UK

In this talk I outline the work of EPSRC project RoboTIPS. I will define and position Responsible Robotics between Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and Robot Ethics. I will introduce the essential practice of Ethical Risk Assessment, then describe our work on the Ethical Black Box and its role in Social Robot Accident Investigation.

Resilience Talk 11 - Monday 21 Jun 2021, 15:00-16:00 BST

Resilience through Adaptation - the challenge of change

Jeff Kramer, Imperial College London, UK

Change in complex systems is inevitable. Providing rigorous techniques and tools to support adaptation so that it can be performed online, at runtime, is certainly challenging. However the potential resilience rewards could be great. There is the need for an architecture and runtime support for dynamic software configuration, plan execution and plan synthesis, domain environment modelling and monitoring, and ultimately even potentially performing some elements of requirements engineering at runtime! This talk will present our motivation and vision, describing our work to date and our hopes for the future.

Resilience Talk 12 - Monday 5 July 2021, 15:00-16:00 BST

Mission Planning for Long-Term Autonomy in Mobile Service Robots

Nick Hawes, Oxford Robotics Institute, University of Oxford UK

The performance of autonomous robots, i.e. robots that can make their own decisions and choose their own actions, is becoming increasingly impressive, but most of them are still constrained to labs, or controlled environments. In addition to this, these robots are typically only able to do intelligent things for a short period of time, before either crashing (physically or digitally) or running out of things to do. In order to go beyond these limitations, and to deliver the kind of autonomous service robots required by society, we must conquer the challenge of combining artificial intelligence and robotics to develop systems capable of long-term autonomy in everyday environments. The first half of this work will provide a retrospective of our prior work on long-term autonomy, specifically the work of the EU STRANDS project. The second half of the talk will cover more recent work on mission planning under uncertainty for service robots which grew out of this project.

Resilience Talk 13 - Monday 11 October 2021, 15:00-16:00 BST

Human-Centred Visual Learning and Its Applications

Hyung Jin Chang, University of Birmingham, UK

Humans are the best teachers as well as beneficiaries of AI development. My human-centred visual learning research is to develop vision-based algorithms that aim to make systems usable and useful by focusing on humans, especially their needs and requirements. In particular, understanding human body pose/hand/gaze is fundamental for meaningful interpretation of human action and behaviour. In this talk, I will introduce my recent research on human-centred vision tasks in a high level, including real-time hand pose & gaze tracking, and human body movement retargeting, and so forth. Also, some interesting applications using the human-centred vision methods will be presented.

Resilience Talk 14 - Monday 8 November 2021, 15:00-16:00 GMT

Assuring the Safety of Resilient Robotics and Autonomous Systems – Current Capability and Evidence Requirements

Dr. Mark Nicholson, Senior Lecturer - Safety Critical Systems, Department of Computer Science, University of York, UK

Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) have unique characteristics and requirements that present a considerable challenge for safety assurance and certification. This webinar explores the current state of the art of the assurance of complex software intensive systems, introducing a set of principles by which assurance and certification is currently judged in a system context. It then briefly looks at the challenges introduced by the use of RAS before considering the emerging responses to these challenges. One emerging theme is that assuring the safety of RAS is a multifaceted undertaking, which requires that assurance evidence from a variety of sources is assembled into a coherent whole. Further the validity of this evidence, and hence the safety assurance inferences made over it, are constantly challenged in operation. Building in appropriate levels of resilience ensures that the evidence and safety assurance inferences are not fragile.

Resilience Talk 15 - Monday 22 November 2021, 14:30-15:30 GMT

Verifying Machine Ethics

Louise Dennis, University of Manchester, UK

Machine ethics is concerned with the challenge of constructing ethical and ethically behaving artificial agents and systems. One important theme within machine ethics concerns explicitly ethical agents – those which are not ethical simply because they are constrained by their programming or deployment to be so but which use a concept of ethics in some way as part of their operation. Normally this requires the provision of rules, utilities or priorities by a programmer, knowledge engineer or user. In this talk I will address the question of how such explicitly ethical programs can be verified. What kind of properties can we consider and what kind of errors might we find?

19th International Conference on Software Engineering and Formal Methods - 6 to 10 December 2021.*

SEFM 2021 was jointly organised by Carnegie Mellon University (US), Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan) and University of York (UK) and aimed to bring together researchers and practitioners from academia, industry and government, to advance the state of the art in formal methods, to facilitate their uptake in the software industry, and to encourage their integration within practical software engineering methods and tools.

The SEFM main conference proceedings are published in the Formal Methods subline of Springer's Lecture Notes in Computer Science, and can be accessed at this link.