The University of Southampton

Artificial Intelligence researchers to serve up a "Pint of Science"

Published: 9 April 2018
Professor Koushik Maharatna and Dr Gopal Ramchurn

Researchers from Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton are heading for the local pub to present their latest pioneering research as part of the international Pint of Science Festival.

The annual Pint of Science Festival was launched in 2012 and takes place in nearly 300 cities around the globe. This year's festival runs from May 14-16 and brings some of the most brilliant scientists to venues across the UK to discuss their research and findings with members of the public in an accessible location – in the pub.

As part of the Festival, ECS researchers Dr Gopal Ramchurn and Professor Koushik Maharatna will be exploring the world of Artificial Intelligence in an evening entitled I, Robot.

Many’s the time that Fantasy Football league performance has been debated in a pub environment but it’s a new signing for Dr Ramchurn, Director of the Centre for Machine Intelligence in ECS. Gopal will tell the story of Squadguru, an algorithm he developed to play the English Premier League Fantasy Football – and which beat 99% of human players on average. He’ll also talk about the difficulties of taking the algorithm out from the labs to the real world and why AI will not beat all humans at everything...yet.

Koushik Maharatna, Professor in Signal Processing Systems Design in ECS, works on next-generation mobile healthcare systems. In his talk, Koushik considers how a ‘predictive’ approach to remotely monitoring the health of populations could help reduce costs of long-term care by predicting impending episodes of chronic disease. He’ll also identify the elements hindering the adoption of such systems and a strategy to overcome these challenges.

Other Pint of Science evenings include In the Dark, exploring supermassive black holes and the ‘darkest’ areas of science, and A Journey Though Galaxies which looks at the formation, evolution and research simulations of galaxies. Both evenings are delivered by Southampton’s school of Physics and Astronomy.

The I, Robot talks take place at Southampton’s Stein Garten on Tuesday 15 May. Tickets for this, and all Pint of Science activities in Southampton, are available online from with each evening costing only £4.

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