MI Banner

High-tech aid scoops prize

Photo : Professor Max Bramer

Professor Max Bramer
(Portsmouth University & SGAI Chairman) and
Dr Lars Nolle (Trent Nottingham University)

The first actual competition for the Machine Intelligence Prize was held at ES2002 in Cambridge on 11th December. AKRI works in support of this on your behalf in conjunction with SGAI (the BCS specialist group on Artificial Intelligence) and Electrolux, who not only provide support to ensure that the competition runs smoothly, they also provide a 1000 cash prize for the winner.

This years winner was Dr Lars Nolle from Nottingham Trent University. To win, Dr Nolle and his fellow finalists had undertaken a live demonstration of their developments in front the expert audience attending ES2002. The winning system will save highly qualified scientists working in industrial environments many hours of work and provide greater accuracy in the control of plasma used during the manufacture of semiconductors.

Photo : Dr. Wouter Teepe

Dr. Wouter Teepe
Groningen University

The runners up were also highly commended. Dr Wouter Teepe, from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands demonstrated a sophisticated system to help voters in crowded, proportional representation-based electoral systems to establish which political party best reflects their views. His system has been adopted by the Dutch Ministry of Education and is being taken into schools all over the Netherlands to encourage young people to engage with the political process.

Dr Patrick Wong from the Open University showed the audience a new approach to identifying hidden faults in metal. His work should help, in the future, to prevent accidents such as the Hatfield rail disaster which killed four and injured 70 and the American Airlines plane crash near New York in 2001 which killed 260 people. Both these accidents are attributed to metal failure: hidden cracks in the rails, and a weakness in the plane’s metal structure.

Photo : Dr. Patrick Wong

Dr. Patrick Wong
Open University

We hope that the competition will grow from this successful launch. There were several groups in the audience that were interested to see how things develop before submitting their own entries and we may therefore expect competition to increase and standards to raise. After having said that, my personal congratulations are for those that braved not only live demonstration of their work but a new competition in a new environment.

[Some parts of this short article have been extracted from a press release prepared by Claire Gosnell from Electrolux]

John L. Gordon