2010 Turing Lecture

15 March 2010

Embracing Uncertainty: The New Machine Intelligence

Christopher Bishop
Microsoft Research Cambridge
5.00pm / 5.30pm Thursday 18 March 2010
Appleton Tower

Computers are traditionally viewed as logical machines which follow precise, deterministic instructions.

The real world in which they operate, however, is full of complexity, ambiguity, and uncertainty. In this year’s Turing Lecture, Professor Chris Bishop discusses the field of machine learning, and shows how uncertainty can be modelled and quantified using probabilities.

He looks at the recent developments in probabilistic modelling which have greatly expanded the variety and scale of machine learning applications, and he explores the future potential for this technology.

In honour and recognition of Alan Turing’s contribution in the field of computing, the IET and the BCS established the Turing Lecture in 1999. It is a world leading event, presenting a topic from current research in computer science given by an acknowledged expert in the field.

Professor Bishop is Chief Research Scientist at the Microsoft Research Laboratory in Cambridge, and also holds a Chair in Computer Science in The University of Edinburgh School of Informatics. He presented the 2008 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures Hi-Tech Trek — The Quest for the Ultimate Computer.

He’s an excellent speaker, and this looks to be an interesting talk about recent advances in and applications of machine learning. There is a reception at 5pm, with the lecture at 5.30pm, and a ticket-only event afterwards. The lecture is free, but the IET ask for registration; which in turn means you need to create an account at the IET website; which means handing over address, phone number, eye colour, etc. Sorry about that.

Links: Registration; Video of this lecture in London; The British Computer Society on the Turing Lecture; The Institution of Engineering and Technology on the Turing Lecture.

Lecture 19: Heterogeneous Metaprogramming in F#

15 March 2010

General overview of metaprogramming, with a range of examples in different languages ranging from C macros through Java reflection to MetaOCaml. Brief summary of the F# language, its history, features, and upcoming release in VS 2010.

Metaprogramming in F#, and how it can be combined with LINQ for database queries, runtime code-generation, and outsourcing computation. How to run Conway’s Life on a GPU without changing your code. This is based on the following paper:

To find out more about this, try also reading the series of articles about accelerating data-parallel code in F# on Tomáš Petrícek’s blog.

Finally, a job ad to work with the F# team.

Links: Slides; F# Developer Network; F# at Microsoft Research; Visual F# Developer Library; Don Syme as Geek of the Week.