“We volunteered to engage with students aged 14-15 at the Sir Bernard Lovell Academy. For several hours, we presented to students who were interested in pursuing engineering, AI, and related disciplines. We had tables set up to talk about our research and provided live demonstrations of our work within AI, machine learning, and engineering. Groups of 8-10 students rotated between our stations to learn about the unique areas we work within.
Jess spoke to them about AI, Reinforcement Learning, and how the two are connected both theoretically and in practice. She then had the students play a pre-programmed Atari game to try to beat the reinforcement learning high score. Scott had the students set-up EEG headsets using wet and dry electrodes, with a live demo of the students’ brain signals and an explanation of how these may be used with machine learning. He then had the students play an Asteroids-like game, controlling the ship with a CSP model trained on their brain signals. Joe spoke to the students about Generative AI, looking at how we define Generative AI and at a high level how Generative AI works. He showed them some mainstream examples and their applications i.e. text-to-image generation with Stable Diffusion and Large Language Models (Google Bard).
We then spent about an hour doing a careers presentation + Q&A with the students, where we talked about our academic and professional careers to date, and where we see ourselves after the PhD. The students were engaged, asked questions, and definitely seemed to enjoy all of the demonstrations.”