Our seminar series is free and available for anyone to attend. Unless otherwise stated, seminars take place on Wednesday afternoons at 2pm in the Kilburn Building during teaching season.

If you wish to propose a seminar speaker please contact Antoniu Pop.


Automating Biology using Robot Scientists

  • Speaker:   Dr  Ross King  (University of Manchester)
  • Host:   Robert Stevens
  • 3rd October 2012 at 15:00 in Lecture Theatre 1.3 ,Kilburn Building
My colleagues and I have spent a decade developing machines, Robot Scientists, designed to automate the discovery of scientific knowledge.

The motivations for our work is partly philosophical, there is a strong view that holds that we do not fully understand a phenomenon unless we can make a machine that reproduces it: "What I cannot create, I do not understand" (Richard Feynman). Automating science is also an excellent test bed for AI, as it involves formal reasoning with interaction with the real-world, and Nature is "honest". However the most important motivation is that we wish to make scientific research cheaper and more cost-effective

We have built two Robot Scientists. Adam was designed to understand how the components of cells work together - functional genomics. It is the first machine to have discovered some novel scientific knowledge. Our new Robot Scientist Eve is designed to automate drug screening and design. We have applied Eve to the discovery of leads for neglected tropical diseases such as malaria, African sleeping sickness, Chagas disease etc.
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