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Insight Masterclass series: Look, but don’t touch: From tactile sensing to strong AI

A journey that starts with the human sense of touch and ends with some ideas about moving closer towards true artificial intelligence

Insight is proud to announce the next installment of our Masterclass series on Mon, 6 July 2020 14:00 – 15:30 IST. Professor Stephen Redmond will take you on an interesting journey that starts with the human sense of touch and ends with some ideas about how we might move closer to developing true artificial intelligence. If the scientific literature is a good measure, vision is by far our favourite sense! The sense of touch, by comparison, somewhat neglected. He will summarise for you what we know about human touch, and the ongoing 50+ year struggle to replicate this sense. I will highlight the hardware and data challenges we must overcome if we are to endow robotics systems with a human sense of touch. I will argue the essential role that touch will play in the ongoing robotics revolution, by enabling robots to learn about the physical world through tactile exploration – how could a machine master the physical world by only looking and never touching? He will show you some examples of the state-of-the-art in autonomous robotic manipulation and suggest some reasons why dexterous robotic manipulation still remains far from our reach. Here, he suggests that modern approaches to AI, that have dazzled us over the last decade, might benefit from the concept of human mental imagery. At this point he might ask you, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”.


Prof. Stephen Redmond

Associate Professor Stephen Redmond holds Bachelor’s and PhD degrees in Electronic Engineering from UCD. His PhD was in the area of biological signal processing, focusing on pattern classification, in particular the application of machine learning techniques to physiological signals. He has extensive experience in monitoring human movement using wearable sensors, predictive modelling of health events, and robust measurement of physiological signals in the home. He also holds an Adjunct Associate Professor position at the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering at the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), where he worked as an academic for ten years prior to his return to UCD in 2019. He returned to Ireland to take up a prestigious Science Foundation Ireland President of Ireland Future Research Leader's Award (2019-2023), worth in excess of €1.1m, to develop next-generation tactile sensors for robotic and prosthetic gripping that can feel slipperiness. His total secured funding as Principal Investigator is in excess of €2.5m. He has more 160 publications including 69 journal articles, with papers in top-ranked outlets such as the Annals of Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Sensors Journal, IEEE Transaction on Biomedical Engineering. He has supervised 16 PhD students to completion. He has a strong track record in the exploitation and commercialisation of research. He is a member of the scientific advisory board for Irish Start-up Kinesis, and has worked in an advisory/consultancy capacity for multiple biomedical engineering companies. He is co-founder of Australian tactile sensor company, Contactile.

You can register for the Masterclass here.