Our annual series of conferences has reached its 34th year and once again was held at Peterhouse College, Cambridge in December. I acted as conference chair, as well as Technical Stream Chair. Miltos Petridis acted as Application Stream Chair, with Jixin Ma as his deputy, and Adrian Hopgood acted as Workshop Organizer. The poster sessions were organized by Nirmalie Wiratunga. The nineteenth UK Case-Based Reasoning Workshop, which ran during the first day of the conference, was organized by Miltos Petridis and Thomas Roth-Berghofer. Rosemary Gilligan acted as Treasurer and was also responsible for Local Arrangements. Our conference administrator was Mandy Bauer from our parent body the BCS, with paper administration by Bryony Bramer. This year's panel session was on the topic of 'Where will AI be in 10, 25, 50 and 100 years time?'. It was organised by Andrew Lea who also organised the new AI Open Microphone session. I am most grateful to all the organisers for their efforts on our behalf.
The final programme included papers by authors from 10 countries spread across three continents. All papers submitted were reviewed by an international panel of expert referees. There were prizes awarded for the best papers in the technical and application streams, the best poster and the best paper in each stream of which the principal author was a student. As well as the nineteenth UK Case-Based Reasoning Workshop the conference included workshops on 'AI in Medical Imaging', 'AI for Data Mining' and 'Fundamentals of Hyper-heuristics'. Papers accepted for poster presentation were again published as short papers in the proceedings. The Group once again subsidized a reduced rate for non-presenting students.
We again used the ConferenceExpert system for electronic submission and reviewing of papers. The conference proceedings were published by Springer in a single volume under the title Research and Development in Intelligent Systems XXXI, incorporating Applications and Innovations in Intelligent Systems XXII. Special Issues of the international journals Expert Systems and Kunstliche Intelligenz containing substantially expanded versions of the best technical papers and the best application papers from AI-2013, respectively, are currently in press.
Our Research Student Forum, FAIRS, continued for an eighth year. This is a free event for PhD and MRes/MPhil research students in the AI field, running on the day after the conference, which was organised by Giovanna Martinez (Nottingham Trent University). The Forum offered students the opportunity to meet other research students and to discuss their work with senior researchers and practitioners, with sessions covering guidance on conducting research and writing a thesis, feedback on research and research plans, and advice on undergoing a viva.
At the last AGM in December 2013 Paula Buttery, Andrew Lea, Sid Shakya and Frederic Stahl were all elected to the committee to serve until the end of the 2016 AGM.
The use of the Groupís website and our list server AI-SGES has continued to develop. The list server is open to all (whether or not they are members of the Group) and is free of charge. Full information is available on the Group's website. The Members' Area on the Group's website provides downloading access to the full text of our publication Expert Update back to Volume 8, No.1 as well as access to the full text of the ECCAI journal AI Communications, a state-of-the art review of AI and the SGAI 'AI Information Portal'. Further facilities and services for members will be added as time goes by. A password needed to access the Members' Area has been circulated to all members. Our Twitter presence continues at @bcs_sgai (with hashtags #sgaiconf, #ukkdd, #realai and #micomp).
The eighth in our series of UK Symposia on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining took place in London in June and was another successful event in this long-running series.
The latest in our series of 'Real AI' events was held at the BCS London office in October, organised once again by Gilbert Owusu and Sid Shakya from BT. This event is designed to showcase practical applications of artificial intelligence, of particular interest to business and industry.
With a view to the future the Group is looking into the possibility of launching an AI Challenge competition jointly with our parent body the BCS. This venture is being led on the Group's behalf by Andrew Lea.
The Group's membership stood at 1,213 on November 17th 2014.