Nick Jennings

Vice-Provost for Research, Imperial College London
Former UK government’s Chief Scientific Advisor for National Security

Authority on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.

Add to Shortlist More Information

Biography

Professor Nick Jennings is an internationally recognized authority on the science and engineering of artificial intelligence (AI), intelligent, autonomous systems and robotics, and their impact on society. Not just a theorist, Jennings has developed real-world systems in a number of areas and is a successful entrepreneur. He is also an expert on cybersecurity and spent six years as the Chief Scientific Advisor for National Security to the UK government. Nick Jennings is Vice-Provost (Research) at Imperial College London and is a Companion of The Order of the Bath (CB), a Crown Honor for his services to computer science and national security science.

The promise of AI. The special promise of artificial intelligence lies in systems that can respond to new information, learn, and then improvise to improve their performance, without human intervention. Nick Jennings envisions a future in which humans and machines band together in human-agent collectives (HACs) to save lives, protect the environment, improve manufacturing, or win gold medals in sailing—to improve virtually any area of human endeavor.

Practical experience. Jennings has developed multi-agent systems for electricity transportation in Spain, environmental sensor network monitoring in the Briksdalsbreen glacier in Norway and in the River Solent in Southampton; controlling Daimler-Chrysler’s engine manufacturing production lines; managing supply chains and providing in-theatre situational awareness with BAE Systems; assessing and predicting race conditions for the 2012 British Olympic sailing team; disaster assessment and response planning with Rescue Global; analyzing and predicting home energy use for those in fuel poverty with the Centre for Sustainable Energy and scheduling the repair of aircraft engines with Rolls-Royce. His tech start-ups include variab.ly, which provides negotiating algorithms for e-commerce marketplaces, and Aerogility, which optimizes aircraft fleet scheduling and maintenance. He also has led successful teams of staff and students in international AI competitions.

Credentials

  • Vice-Provost for Research, Imperial College London
  • Former UK government’s Chief Scientific Advisor for National Security
  • Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB)
  • Former Regius Professor of Computer Science, University of Southampton (a post bestowed by the monarch)
  • Recipient, ACM Autonomous Agents Research Award and Computers and Thought Award Fellow, Royal Academy of Engineering and the Association for the Advancement of AI

Topics

Nick tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

Human-Artificial Intelligence Partnerships

As computation increasingly pervades the world around us, it is profoundly changing the ways in which we work with computers. Forging an effective partnership is central to this. However, until now, humans have been the masters and technology the slave. This needs to change. Today’s AI systems can act on high-level human commands and achieve complex goals in a flexible manner. But, while such systems are good at solving narrowly defined tasks, they don’t know how to collaborate with humans or how to operate as part of a problem-solving team. This talk will explore how humans and AI systems (aka software agents) can work together. In such human-agent collectives (HACs) the humans and the agents complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses, leading to a rise in the humans, as well as in the agents. Drawing on multi-disciplinary work in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning, crowd sourcing and ubiquitous computing, this talk explores the science needed to understand, build and apply HACs. It also discusses their broader societal impact when the AI directs the humans and when it replaces the humans.

Videos

Unlocking the potential of human problem-solving in data-rich environments | World Economic Forum

The Interview | Times Higher Education

Putting the Smarts in the Smart Grid | University of Edinburgh