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Professor Roger Whitaker

Professor Roger Whitaker

Professor of Collective Intelligence

School of Computer Science and Informatics

Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

I’m interested in social, psychological and evolutionary intelligence, and how these can support new capabilities for AI, machines and innovation. This includes: 

  • using techology to understand human behaviours and their role in intelligence;
  • ethical issues such as embedding cooperation and social responsibility in machines; 
  • collective human and machine interactions through networks, technologies and games.

This work is interdisciplinary, including engineering, sociology and psychology. Funders including IBM and EPSRC support my current research.

Biography

Recent roles and projects include:

  • Academic Director of Supercomputing Wales – a £16 Million collaboration between The Universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea, that provides Wales with a national research facility for simulation and AI. This supports the EPSRC CDT in AI, Machine Learning and Advanced Computing.
  • Co-director of Data Innovation Accelerator, a £3.6 Million project supported by European Regional Development funding to provide 80 collaborations on Data Science and AI projects to 80 businesses. This funding supports a team of data scientists and staff for outreach and knowledge exchange.
  • Project leader for the US/UKDistributed Analytics and Information Sciences International Technology Alliance (DAIS ITA, 2016-2021) funded by the US & UK Governments and led by IBM. My involvement focuses on the Evolution of Human Systems in collaboration with Penn State, Yale and University of Massachusetts.
  • Proponent of the Cardiff University Data Science Academy (2017), which was launched in 2019 to support the next generation of expertise in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.
  • Former Dean of Research for the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering, (2012-2021), supporting Pro-Vice Chancellors in research management and strategy across seven disciplines. This included submission of REF2014 and REF2021.
  • Leadership of the interdisciplinary FP7 EC SOCIALNETS project, concerning exploiting social networking for adaptive technology;
  • Leadership of the interdisciplinary FP7 EC RECOGNITION project, concerning cognitive approaches supporting self-awareness in autonomic systems.

Publications

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2001

Recent research highlights include:

  • identifying social comparison as a fundamental computational concept for cooperation, and providing further evidence for the social brian hypothesis;
  • understanding how prejudicial groups of artificial agents can easily establish themselves when agents are disposed to in-group attraction; 
  • determining common patterns of human behaviour in navigating smartphone applications through "in-the-wild" participation;
  • understanding the relationship between street-level mobility and individual personality differences;  
  • insights into smartphone usage and addiction through user-app interactions

I'm currently prioritising new approaches to the grand challenge of open-endedness in AI and alternative methods to embed ethical and social responsibility in AI. These directions build on longstanding interests in social networks, cognition and evolutionary approaches to problem solving in engineering.