From Sunday 25 to Friday 30 June 2023 three members of ART AI (Oscar Bryan, Maddie Facino, and Edward Clark) attended the Underwater Acoustics Conference and Exhibition in Kalamata, Greece as part of a larger University of Bath contingent. With attendees from all over the world, this biannual conference is one of the largest regular gatherings of marine acousticians.
The conference focuses on providing both a social environment to promote idea sharing and well curated sessions for presenting cutting edge research. This included a mid-week trip to Olympia, the home of the ancient Olympics, giving us time to talk about ideas and pursue collaboration opportunities in a relaxed environment. Every coffee break seemed to be quickly filled with discussions about our own work and others.
Oscar’s talk on unexploded ordinance detection was received well and it was great to meet up with the Norwegian contingent of his supervisory team. His talk was accompanied by a talk on sonar data simulation (one of the techniques used in Oscar’s work) by Bath’s Ciaran Sanford. Many people were interested in how simulation could be used to improve machine learning within the domain, a key demonstration of how the interdisciplinarity of ART-AI continues to appeal to the wider research community.
Maddie’s role as an Early Career Representative for the UK Acoustics Network (UKAN) gave her the opportunity to attend these enriching presentations which were pertinent to her PhD. Additionally, it provided a platform to network and investigate potential future collaborations. Edward’s presentation on using reinforcement learning for passive sonar vehicle navigation was unique within the conference showing how new ideas are being brought to this academic sphere through ART-AI.
The conference was accompanied by many meals and discussions with other institutions such as NPL, TNO, DSTL and many others. While enjoying the clear waters and sun of Greece, a productive and insightful conference was had by all and we look forward to attending future incarnations.