This week I started ‘Chapter 6’ of my working life with a move to UCL as Professor of Connected Environments to explore the question: how can digital technologies and connected environments help augment our understanding of the built and natural world? This is an evolution of the work I was doing at the Intel Sustainable Connected Cities research institute (see http://cities.io/about-us/) and prior to that at Arup. It is also the result of conversations over the past two years with many people here on the kind of Masters course we wish we could participate in and recruit from. The development of the Future Living Institute in UCL East and the academic vision for cross faculty collaboration (making, originating, connecting, living – http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-east/academic_vision/themes-and-shared-vision) provides a fantastic platform and aligns with a need to learn by doing (see https://medium.com/@SmartLondon/do-living-labs-facilitate-city-wide-collaboration-and-innovation-b112f67a0475).
The focus of my work in the year ahead will be creating a new Masters in Connected Environments that ties into the excellent existing programmes in CASA / Bartlett (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/casa/programmes), developing funded research projects and exploring opportunities for working more closely with industry. As the journey begins we are influenced by three core research vectors;
- cognitive computing – AI at the edge of the network on resource constrained devices (AI at the Edge, human like computing, feedback learning, small AI, applications with training set of 1);
- extra sensory computing – novel methods for capturing data and humans receiving it (AR / VR, Dynamic vision sensors, ultrasonic, bio-inspired);
- spatial reasoning systems – how we can augment / improve our world models with continuous post occupancy information (Reasoning with uncertainty, fusion, analysis, continuous POI).
More on these ideas as they develop but for now I am excited about the opportunity to learn and explore new ideas, and to be around others who are pioneering these domains.