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Human-Machine Collaboration Conference

Thank you for reflecting with us on the power of transformative partnerships with a purpose

More details of the Human-Machine Collaboration Programme can be found here.

Track 1
Track 2
Track 3
Track 4

Recap: The Conference Agenda

Registration opens

Opening address
Prof Patrick Grant, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research)


The University of Oxford & AWS in partnership - “Given the opportunity to Think Big, what would you do?”

Ken Harley, Education Sales Director at AWS UK & Ireland​

Human-Machine Collaboration Oxford Research PIs
• Grounded in Responsible Innovation: the Responsible Technology Institute looks to the future - Prof Marina Jirotka
• Applied Artificial Intelligence - Prof Ingmar Posner
• Humans and Robots in the Workplace - Prof Andrew Markham
• Decision-Making in Human-Machine Collaboration - Prof Nick Hawes


Human-Machine Collaboration Testbed PIs (5-min portfolio introductions and invitations to four  breakout sessions)
• Sciencetech: Dr Ben Goldacre and Prof Steve Roberts
• Spacetech: Prof Nik Petrinic
• Createch + Edtech: Prof Howard Hotson
• Hightech + Sustaintech: Prof Nick Hawes

Buffet Lunch + Poster Session (DPhils + Testbeds + Demos)

Breakout sessions (15:30 Refreshment break for 20 mins)


Science, engineering, commerce and healthcare in Smart Cities

Prof Steve Roberts Machine Learning Research Group, ES and Mind FoundryRandolph Hotel Randolph Hotel Ballroom, Lecture Area


Fireside brainstorming on big data, digital twin and markets

Prof Nik Petrinic, ES / Prof Dan Eakins, ES/ Sarolta Mohaine-Palfi, MPLS

Randolph Hotel Drawing Room


The Oxford Triangle: Collections, Scholars, and Digital Technology

Prof Howard Hotson, Humanities / Charles Matz / Sarolta Mohaine-Palfi, MPLS 

Randolph Hotel Lancaster Room with a mixed reality stage setup


AI, robotics for autonomous systems and monitoring the natural world

Prof Nick Hawes 

Oxford Robotics Institute, Room 1

Drinks reception + Poster Session (DPhils + Testbeds + Demos: Robots + XR stage)
Randolph Hotel Ballroom, Lancaster Room and Drawing Room


Conference Dinner  

Natural History Museum






Science, engineering, commerce and healthcare in Smart Cities
Prof Steve Roberts MLRG, ES and Mind Foundry
Randolph Hotel Ballroom Room, Lecture Area



Visual AI and Computational Ethology - How Oxford’s Visual Geometry Group (VGG) are helping researchers apply state-of-the-art Visual AI across numerous fields, with a test-bed application for animal behaviour and conservation in the wildlife sciences.

Presenters: Prof Andrew Zisserman, Dr Giles Bergel and Daniel Schofield



OxBioNLP - An artificial intelligence platform for COVID-19 researchers to automatically extract knowledge from scientific publication data lakes for bias-free systematic literature reviews and evidence discovery.

Presenters: Prof Thomas Lukasiewicz, Dr Omer Gunes



Advanced Data Analysis for Image Based Spatial Proteomics - Building an easy-to-use, web-based, analysis and visualisation system to allow complex and novel mathematical algorithms to be delivered using the power of the cloud.

Presenters: Prof Steve Taylor, Prof Helen Byrne, Dr Josh Bull



Open Safely - National Trusted Research Environment software platform for secure analysis of health data.

Presenters: Dr Ben Goldacre and Dr Alex Walker



Accelerating time to science with cloud centres of excellence - How the NHS have used cloud enablement to drive skills development and allow elasticity for at scale workloads from clinical delivery to life sciences research

John Davies. Director of Regional Government at AWS. (Local Authorities, Universities and Colleges as well as Healthcare and Non-Profit organisations) 






AI for Science, Engineering & Commerce - Addressing the issue of ‘what data and which algorithm’ Presenter: Prof Steve Roberts


AI in the Insurance sector (panel discussion)

Chair of panel: Prof Steve Roberts

Panelists: Ashish Umre, Head of Artificial Intelligence for AXA XL, Brian Mullins, CEO Mind Foundry, and Stephen Windell, BUPA 


  • How and where do you see humans interacting with machines in the insurance sector?

    • Talk about manual processes, potential for more rewarding work, intelligent automation, driving behaviour classification

  • What are the biggest opportunities for the insurance industry when using AI?

  • What tech is going to transform the insurance industry in the future?



Mind Foundry: Continual-learning for organisational intelligence 

Presenters: Nathan Korda, Mind Foundry & Davide Zilli, Mind Foundry


Presentation focusing on Human-machine collaboration use cases for organisational intelligence, touching upon continual learning, CML and general science

  • Applications to Quantum Computing - Nathan Korda

  • Applications to acoustics - Davide Zilli 



The role of human machine innovation in achieving Net Zero 

Chair of panel: Prof Roberts

Panellists: Malcolm McCulloch Associate Professor in Engineering Science and Group Leader of the Energy and Power Group at the University of Oxford, Jo Crown Director of Product at Mind Foundry, Sam Young at Energy Systems Catapult, and representatives from commercial industry


Fireside brainstorming on big data, digital twin and markets

Prof Nik Petrinic, ES / Prof Dan Eakins, ES/ Sarolta Mohaine-Palfi, MPLS

Randolph Hotel Drawing Room



Materials Engineering AI for Space Exploration and Colonisation: Setting the basis for a university wide, all inclusive, centre that brings together a number of disciplines to enable their interface with machines in order to provide inspiration and platform for development of capabilities required to explore and colonise space, even if the first steps are to ensure the sustainability of our own planet itself.  The pre-requisite to all activities is to appreciate which materials qualify to design and build superior equipment underpinning all efforts.

Presented by Prof Nik Petrinic and Prof Daniel Eakins, Impact and Shock Mechanics, ES



Quantum computing and communications at Oxford - Quantum computing will be important across all application domains, including space, and efficient and effective communications will be needed across all length scales in the space sector. This talk gives a brief snapshot of some of the work in these areas at Oxford.

Presented by Prof Dominic O’Brien, Optical Communications Group, ES. Director of the UK National Hub in Quantum Computing and Simulation



Secure Satellite Communication - The security and robustness of all electronic systems is as important as it is the safety of all mechanical systems, thus posing opportunities to explore the interface between these two fundamental pillars of space exploration efforts for safer and more secure missions

Presented by Prof Ivan Martinovic, Dr Richard Baker, Secure Systems, Computer Science






Materials Science AI Platform for (Aero)Space - Turning the service focused on a single system into a data inspired systems invention and design starts from building the data-and-capability platform that, aided by machine learning will enable scoping the unexplored.

Presented by Prof David Armstrong and Prof Angus Wilkinson, Materials



Resilient & Sustainable Space AI Computing Systems - Whether the design of space systems or their utilisation is at the focus of attention, having robust distributed computing systems is the basis for the functionality and resilience required to minimise the risks to humans involved in space exploration and colonisation. This talk describes the emerging technology developed at Oxford enabling smart & integrated AI computing systems for space.

Presented by Prof Noa Zilberman, Computing Infrastructure Group, Engineering Science


International Cooperations and Complex Learning and Adaptive Systems for Space 

All-inclusive centre for space exploration and colonisation at Oxford assumes permanent membership of large space organisations to enable collaborations and accelerate overall achievements, while respecting competitive aspects of the commercial strands of the envisaged activities. A trusted system is needed for research, innovation and investment into engagement of machine learning across multiple domains. 

US, Japan, UAE, Singapore – executive/postgraduate programmes and global ideation platforms.

Presented by Arfan Chaudry Head of International Strategy, UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, BEIS Space Directorate

Then open to discussions with all participants, led by Prof Nik Petrinic.


The Oxford Triangle: Collections, Scholars, and Digital Technology

Prof Howard Hotson, Humanities / Charles Matz / Sarolta Mohaine-Palfi, MPLS 

Randolph Hotel Lancaster Room with a mixed reality stage setup


Introduction to the Oxford Triangle

Presenter: Prof Howard Hotson (Director of the Digital Scholarship @ Oxford)

Abstract: Oxford’s matchless university collections, encyclopaedic expertise, and innovative computing are creating a fertile seedbed for generating global solutions for major challenges in scholarship, education, outreach, and the market.



The Oxford Triangle and Creative Tools

Testbed: ‘AI and Machine Learning for Oxford’s Gardens, Libraries and Museums Division’.

Presenters: Haas Ezzet (Head of GLAM IT) and Helen Adams (Digital Engagement Lead for GLAM)

Abstract:  Academic experts are using four different collections (of plant specimens, gems, coins, and fossils) to develop state-of-the-art digital tools and processes for dealing with major challenges in four very different disciplines (botany, mineralogy, numismatics, and palaeontology).



The Oxford Triangle and Marketplaces

Testbed: Gems and Fashion

Presenter: Claudia Wagner (Classics)

Abstract: The art objects surviving in greatest quantity from antiquity are not paintings or sculptures, but gems engraved with portraits. The most voluminous documentation of these cameos is in the Beazley Archive central to Oxford’s Classical Art Research Centre. Claudia Wagner (Classics) is exploring how a combination of cloud computing, AI, data science environments, and humanistic best practice can transform the utility of these collections not only for academic researchers but also for fashion houses, auction houses, and digital fashion platforms.



The Oxford Triangle and Didactic Platforms

Testbed: Digital didactic platform for virtual micromechanical materials engineering

Presenter: Simone Falco (Engineering) 

Abstract: This testbed aims to develop an educational platform to explore the study of micromechanical behaviour of materials, by linking already existing numerical tools for the generation of microstructural models into a user-friendly and interactive graphical interface aimed primarily at STEM graduate students and advanced undergraduates.



The Oxford Triangle and Research Platforms

Testbed: ‘Letters and Learning: A Digital Platform for Transforming Research Data into Teaching Materials’ 

Presenters: Professor David de Roure (Oxford e-Research Centre) and Dr Giles Bergel (Visual Geometry Group, Engineering)

Abstract: Techniques of computer vision are being applied to additional Oxford collections – from cuneiform to incunabula – to create powerful yet user-friendly tools capable of transforming research in a wide range of fields.






The Oxford Triangle and Visual Learning

Testbed: Seeing Things: Technology for Visual Learning  

Presenters: Howard Hotson (History) and Kathryn Eccles (Oxford Internet Institute) 

Abstract: ‘Cabinet’ began as a platform in which Oxford academics could use Oxford collections in Oxford teaching. It is now evolving into a platform on which global communities of academics can collaborate in weaving multimedia materials from anywhere into interlinked sets of world-class, interactive educational resources. Instantly accessible for use in and outside the lecture hall, classroom or tutorial, these open access materials can help attract non-traditional students, narrow the gap between teaching and research, provide new means of demonstrating institutional commitment to excellence in teaching, and engage the ‘incurably curious’ in heritage organisations outside formal education altogether.



The Oxford Triangle and Levelling Up Curriculum-Driven and Curiosity-Driven Learning 

Testbed: The Medicine Cabinet: A Multi-Dimensional Learning-Resource Matrix for Curricular Education

Testbed: The Magic of Numbers: A Curiosity-Driven Approach to Levelling Up Education

Presenters: Howard Hotson (History) and Kathryn Eccles (Oxford Internet Institute)

Abstract: ‘The Medicine Cabinet’ is linking educational resources created for Oxford undergraduates to new material designed for GCSE and A-Level curricula to test new means of ‘levelling up’ education and increasing applications from disadvantaged students to ‘élite’ universities. ‘The Magic of Numbers’ is an experiment in stimulating curiosity-driven learning by approaching mathematics through young people’s fascination with fantasy literature. 



The Oxford Triangle, EdTech, Outreach, VR and AR

Testbed: Edtech in the Cloud - Enabling students to experience Victorian England with VR.

Presenters: Richard Smith (Oxford XR Hub and Bodleian Libraries) and Dr Anant Jani (Oxford Martin School)

VR technology is being used to reduce educational inequalities inside the classroom and to enhance visitor experiences in heritage settings. ‘EdTech in the Cloud’ is using simple, low-cost, scalable techniques to provide immersive experiences of unfamiliar aspects of English literature accessible for students without access to high end VR equipment or a flagship smartphone. The Cabinet AR app allows visitors to instantly access and ‘handle’ high-resolution, interactive, 3D models of museum objects otherwise inaccessible in display cabinets.



The Oxford Triangle, Outreach and Citizen Science

Testbed: Lab-in-your-pocket: Mobile Phones, Public Engagement, and Citizen Science

Presenters (by video): Dr Katrin Wilhelm and Dr Sterling Mackinnon III (Geography) Abstract: The perimeter of the Sheldonian site has been guarded since its foundation by seven iconic but mysterious sculpted heads. These sculptures provide the centrepiece for an experiment in using mobile phone technology to engage publics actively in collecting research data as well as passively in consuming information provided by researchers.



The Oxford Triangle and the Digital Twin Technology

Testbed: Twinning the Sheldonian: Coordinating Physical and Virtual Pathways through Heritage Sites

Presenters: Howard Hotson (History) and Maurice Fallon (Robotics)

Abstract: Oxford’s largest heritage collection is the fantastically rich landscape of historical buildings which make up the fabric of the city itself. On just one of these buildings – Christopher Wren’s Sheldonian Theatre (1669) – a dozen different storylines converge, which will be narrated by Oxford experts in the histories of astronomy, architecture, classical drama, engineering, mathematics, politics, religion, science, war, and the university itself. High-resolution 3D scanning, mobile phone technology, and motion sensors are being used to coordinate the virtual pathways created by this content with physical pathways through this building, to help develop means of informing visitors to analogous sites across the heritage sector.

AI, robotics for autonomous systems and monitoring the natural world

Prof Nick Hawes 

Oxford Robotics Institute, Room 1

Background: This session will present selected results of the HighTech and SustainTech HMC testbed projects, and put them in a broader context of related research and industry activities. 

Public Description: In this session you will hear from Oxford researchers and their collaborators about how AI, robotics, and related technologies, can be used to make effective and safe solutions to problems for autonomous systems and monitoring the natural world. 



Welcome and Background - Prof Nick Hawes, ORI


14:10 HighTech-1: Service robots for human environments - Dr Ioannis Havoutis, ORI

14:25 HighTech-2: Responsible AI for autonomous systems - Dr Lars Kunze, ORI

14:40 Industrial Perspective: Safety in autonomous vehicles - Dr Zeyn Saigol, Oxbotica

14:55 Panel discussion: Challenges in building autonomous systems for open-ended operation in everyday environments. Starter question “Where do you see the major opportunities and challenges in creating autonomous systems for open-ended use?”

15:20 Break


15:40 SustainTech-3: Monitoring and Predicting Biodiversity Resilience through AI & Robotics - Dr John Jackson, Zoology

15:55 SustainTech-4: BRAHMS Global: Cloud-based Botanical Herbarium Management System - Dr Denis Filer, Plant Sciences

16:10 HighTech meets Sustaintech: Mapping the undergrowth: 3D mapping for forests - Prof Maurice Fallon, ORI

16:25 HighTech meets Sustaintech: Processing data from sensors in the wild - Prof Andrew Markham, Computer Science

16:40 Panel discussion: Challenges and opportunities in technology for sustainability. Starter question “Where do you see the major opportunities and challenges in developing technology to address questions of environmental sustainability?”


Close, return to the Randolph for drinks

Closed meetings and chats in The Randolph

Before 10.30am

During lunch break 12.30pm - 2pm

During drink reception 5.45pm - 6.45pm

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Morse Bar

The Randolph Hotel’s beloved Morse Bar is an ode to Morse creator Colin Dexter who was a regular and penned some of the Morse books from the bar. Filming for the Inspector Morse series took place in this intimate panelled bar, which focusses on cocktails and whiskey.

The Snug

Adjoining The Alice inside The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels, The Snug is an intimate cocktail lounge with the spirit of a bohemian English library, serving drinks and snacks derived from The Alice menu.  

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Meet and greet our Education Technology and Creative Technology Principal Investigators.

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

HMC Conference Dinner 7pm - 9.30pm.

Oxford University Museum of Natural History.png
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