Technical Keynote Lecture
Prof. Michael Fisher (University of Manchester)
Autonomous Systems, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning - Why the Differences are Important
It is increasingly common to hear Artificial Intelligence (AI) described essentially as data intensive Machine Learning (ML) and, possibly even worse, to hear the term "Autonomous Systems" conflated with AI.
However, the differences between these terms are crucial. Autonomous Systems are systems that make their own decisions, and can take their own actions, without direct human oversight or control. Although such systems are often built from a range of AI (and non-AI) components, the concept of autonomy is both distinct and important. At the same time, AI provides a diverse family of techniques, not just ML, each with its drawbacks and advantages.
In addition to discussing the important differences between Autonomy, AI, and ML, I will also outline how we are constructing autonomous systems that combine a range of different AI components, each used for appropriate tasks, leading to autonomous systems that have greater transparency, explainability, verifiability, trustworthiness, etc.
Michael Fisher is a Professor of Computer Science and the Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Manchester. His research centres on the interaction between Logic, Computer Science, and Artificial Intelligence, particularly. He works on temporal logics, formal verification, and autonomous systems. He has published more than 250 papers in international journals and conferences, and has written several academic books.
Professor Fisher is a Fellow of both BCS and IET, and sits on the EPSRC's Strategic Advisory Network. He also chairs the BSI Committee on Sustainable Robotics, co-chairs the IEEE Technical Committee on the Verification of Autonomous Systems, and is a member of both the BSI AMT/10 committee on Robotics and the IEEE P7009 Standards committee on Fail-Safe Design of Autonomous Systems.
He is the Leader of the Autonomy and Verification Network focusses on autonomous systems and their verification. Applications include unmanned aircraft, robotics and distributed sensor systems. The network is distributed across several universities, including The University of Manchester, University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, and Lancaster University Leipzig.