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Personal profile

Research interests

I work in the overlap of AI, graphics and robotics, with a focus on autonomous synthetic characters; this has led to interests in affective computing, interactive narrative and human-robot interaction. Underlying this is work on action-selection systems: the merging of AI planning with biologically-inspired low-level systems and emergent behaviours.

Biography

I moved into computing from a degree in Mathematical Economics and Econometrics when I went to work for the then international Computers Ltd in 1977. In 1980 I moved to the micro-computing lab of University of Sheffield, and in 1983 became an academic in Computing at the then Sheffield Polytechnic. I came to Scotland for the first time in 1989 when I worked for the University of Edinburgh AI Applications Institute as a Knowledge Engineer, and followed this with a move to Advanced Robotics Research Ltd in Salford as a Senior Software Engineer. In 1992 I became a lecturer in the University of Salford IT Institute, and in 1998 moved as a Senior Lecturer to Salford’s Centre for Virtual Environments, where I became a Professor in 2000. In 2004 I moved to Heriot-Watt as a Professor of Computer Science.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

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