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.
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.