Season THREE

S03E01 Robots/AI - With Professor Tom Drummond

Professor Drummond is the Head of Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering at Monash University, where he is also Chief Investigator and Monash Node Leader for the ARC Centre of Excellence in Robotic Vision. His research interests include High Performance Computing, Machine Learning and Computer Vision, with a particular emphasis on real-time systems for Augmented Reality, Robotics and Assistive Technologies.

He has been awarded the Könderink prize and the ISMAR 10 year impact award. At Monash University (and previously at the University of Cambridge), he has been awarded ARC and EU Framework research grants totalling in excess of $30M AUD as well as numerous funded industry collaborations.


He grew up in the UK and studied mathematics for his BA at the University of Cambridge. In 1989 he immigrated to Australia where he was employed at CSIRO for four years before relocating to Perth for his PhD in Computer Science at Curtin University. Professor Drummond returned to Cambridge in 1998 as a post-doctoral Research Associate. In 1991 he was appointed as a University Lecturer at Cambridge and was subsequently promoted to Senior University Lecturer. In 2010 he returned to Melbourne and took up a Professorship at Monash University.

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S03E02 Cyborgs - With Dr Fiona Kerr

Dr Fiona Kerr's consuming interest in the science and power of human cognition and connectivity continues to develop after more than 35 years of working in various sectors in Australia and abroad; including power generation, automotive manufacturing, defence, pharmaceuticals, government, and artistic organisations like Cirque du Soleil.


Fiona’s Doctoral research combined cognitive neuroscience and complex systems engineering to examine how to build adaptive, responsive systems, and how good leaders, and indeed all of us, change each others brains and bodies. These research combinations, augmented by qualifications in psychology and anthropology, created Fiona's expertise in human to human, and human to AI interaction; applicable to varied industrial and commercial environments. To this end, she founded The NeuroTech Institute in late 2018 to investigate the neurophysiology of the interaction between people and people, and people and technology in order to better understand how we shape each other, how technology shapes us, and how we should shape future technology. Neurotech explores the science of the union of human awareness and machine intelligence, and what that means for healthcare, ageing, defence, education, and industry. 


Fiona maintains collaborative partnerships in Australia, the USA and Europe, advising technologists, health professionals, and governments to make productive choices and policies, and create successful outcomes regarding the economic and societal impact of building quality partnerships between technology and people which allow us all to flourish. She is an advisor to the robotics industry, the health sector, the Global centre for Modern Ageing, Finland's national artificial intelligence program, and Defence organizations both in the USA and Australia. Academic positions include honorary visiting positions for Adelaide University (engineering), SAHMRI and University College Dublin’s SMARTlab. Fiona researches, consults, and speaks professionally on a wide range of topics including the neuroscience of human to human, and human - AI interactions,  neurogenesis, and how good leaders create truly adaptive  organisations.

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S03E03 AI and the Singularity - With Dr Sofia Vallecorsa

Dr. Sofia Vallecorsa is a CERN physicist with extensive experience on software development in the High Energy Physics domain, in particular on Quantum Computing and Deep Learning applications within CERN openlab, a public-private partnership between CERN and leading ICT companies. 


Before joining openlab, Dr. Vallecorsa has been responsible for the development of Deep Learning based technologies for the simulation of particle transport through detectors at CERN and she has worked on optimisation of the GeantV detector simulation prototype on modern hardware architectures. 

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S03E04 Cloaking devices - With Dr Jordi Prat Camps

Dr Jordi Prat Camps is a physicist from Barcelona with a background in electromagnetism, superconductivity, and metamaterials, with a very applied vision. He loves to explore the frontiers between disciplines and, in particular, the connection between science and technology. His ultimate passion is to learn and innovate. 

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S03E05 Quantum Computing - With Dr Federico Carminati

Federico Carminati is working in CERN openlab to investigate potential applications of machine learning and quantum computing for high-energy physics as the Chief Innovation Officer.


Federico obtained his master’s degree in physics at the University of Pavia, Italy, in 1981. He worked as a particle physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology, both in the US, before being hired by CERN in 1985. He first worked in the Organization’s division for data handling, and was responsible for managing the CERN Program Library and the GEANT detector simulation programme, the global-standard high-energy physics suite in the 1980s and 1990s.


From 1994 to 1998, Federico worked with Nobel laureate Carlo Rubbia on the prototype design of a novel accelerator-driven nuclear-power device. From 1998 to 2013, he was the computing coordinator for ALICE, one of the four large experiments on the LHC. In 2013, Federico obtained a PhD in physics from the University of Nantes, France. From 2013 to 2017, he led the development of the new generation of code used to simulate particle transport at CERN.


Federico is also a group psychoanalyst and is certified in pet-assisted therapy. He is a member of the Charles Baudouin International Institute for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy and the Society for Multidisciplinary Psychoanalysis, both in Geneva, Switzerland.

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