Experts from across disciplines come together in a new center to push the boundaries of intelligent robotics and artificial intelligence

Experts from across disciplines come together in a new center to push the boundaries of intelligent robotics and artificial intelligence

Living and working with intelligent robots… Researchers at the University of Manchester are looking into the future of human-robot relationships. Credit: Manchester Marketing

How humans and superintelligent robots live and work together in the future will be among the key issues examined by experts at the University of Manchester’s new Center of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Machines.

The Manchester Center for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence will be a new specialist interdisciplinary center for exploring developments in intelligent robotics through the lens of artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous machines.

The University of Manchester has built a recent reputation for excellence in artificial intelligence and robotics, building in part on a legacy of pioneering thought leadership begun in Manchester by legendary codebreaker Alan Turing.

Manchester’s new interdisciplinary center is home to world-leading research from across academic disciplines – and this group will hold its first conference on Wednesday, 23 November, at the University’s new Engineering and Materials facilities.

A highlight will be a joint talk by robotics expert Dr. Andy Whitman and religious scholar Dr. Scott Madison that is expected to shed light on “transhumanism,” the world of the future where humans will no longer be the only intelligent decision-makers.

Dr. Whitman, who researches home rehabilitation robots for people with neurological impairment, and Dr. Madison, who researches theological and philosophical critiques of transhumanism, will discuss how interdisciplinary research can help address the particular challenges of rehabilitation robots — and ultimately, what It means being human “in the face of the promises and challenges of human augmentation through robotic and autonomous machines.”

Experts from across disciplines come together in a new center to push the boundaries of intelligent robotics and artificial intelligence

Living and working with intelligent robots… Researchers at the University of Manchester are looking into the future of human-robot relationships. Credit: Manchester Marketing

Other topics that the center will focus on include: Robotics applications in harsh environments.

Over the past decade, a specialist team in Manchester led by Professor Barry Lennox has designed robots to operate safely at nuclear decommissioning sites in the UK. A pioneering robot called Lyra developed by Professor Lennox’s team – and recently deployed at Dounreay in Scotland,The deepest nuclear cleanup site in the world– was included in Time Magazine’s 200 Best Innovations of 2022.

Angelo Cangelosi, Professor of Machine Learning and Robotics at Manchester, said the university offers a world-leading position in autonomous systems – technology that will be an integral part of our future world.

Professor Cangelosi, Associate Director, Manchester Center for Robotics and Artificial IntelligenceHe said, “We are delighted to host our inaugural conference, which will provide a special showcase of our diverse academic expertise to design robotics for a variety of real-world applications.

“Our research and innovation team works on the interplay of robotics, autonomy and artificial intelligence – and their knowledge is drawn from all university disciplines, including the biological and medical sciences – as well as the humanities and even theology.

Experts from across disciplines come together in a new center to push the boundaries of intelligent robotics and artificial intelligence

Robots in a University of Manchester laboratory where researchers investigate the future of human-robot relationships. Credit: Manchester Marketing

“This rich diversity offers Manchester a distinctive approach to designing robotics and autonomous systems for real-world applications, especially when combined with our new use of AI-based knowledge.”

Delegates will have the opportunity to see a series of robots and autonomous machines being showcased at the new conference.

The University of Manchester’s Center for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence aims to:

  • Design control systems with a focus on bio-inspired solutions for mechatronics, for example using biomimetic sensors, actuators and robot platforms;
  • Develop new software engineering and AI validation methodologies in autonomous systems, with the aim of designing trustworthy autonomous systems;
  • research in human-robot interaction, with a leading focus on using brain-inspired methods for robot control, learning, and interaction; And the
  • Research the ethics and issues of human-centered robotics, to understand the impact of the use of robots and autonomous systems with individuals and society.

Provided by the University of Manchester

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