17th Annual Sir Bernard Crossland Lecture

Engineers Ireland and The Chief Executives' Club at Queen’s University Belfast were delighted to host Professor Noel Sharkey, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, (and of TVs ‘Robot Wars’), who delivered the 17th Annual Sir Bernard Crossland Lecture. The lecture took place in Riddel Hall, Queen's University Belfast, on 20 February 2018, attended by more than 230 people, The lecture was also supported by The Institution of Engineering and Technology and formed part of the NI Science Festival programme.

Professor David Jones, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students for Queen’s University Belfast, welcomed  guests who included Dr Robert Eadie (Chairman, Engineers Ireland Northern Region), Dr Kieran Feighan (President, Engineers Ireland) and Professor Mark Price (Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences Professor Jones emphasised the importance of the links between Queen's and the wider engineering community and the combined contribution made to the Northern Ireland economy. Before introducing Professor Sharkey, Professor Jones paid tribute to the exceptional researcher, motivational teacher and mentor that Sir Bernard Crossland had been and that this lecture continues to be a fitting tribute to him.

Professor Sharkey’s presentation was entitled, ‘Responsibility amidst a Revolution in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics’ in which he stated “There are no responsible robots, the responsibility must lie with the human being in control of the robot".   He spoke of the work being undertaken by  Foundation for Responsible Robotics and other non-government organisations that he is involved with. These groups are trying to raise awareness around ethical issues that surround the use of robots, in an effort to establish global codes of practice.